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Government announces new energy tariffs

July 23rd, 2022

A pro-government and a left-wing analyst offer diametrically opposed assessments of the government’s new energy price subsidy regulations.

On Thursday, the government published its decree on new energy tariffs. Electric energy consumption above the national average will cost twice as much, while the price of gas will increase seven-fold above the average. Even these prices, however, will be pegged lower than current market prices.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gergely Kiss writes that the government has thus defended its energy price caps and will continue to provide households with cheap gas and electricity. The pro-government commentator finds the adjustment of the energy price subsidy scheme necessary as global energy prices have surged. Kiss notes that Hungarian families saved billions of Forints thanks to the price cap arrangement introduced in 2013. He also remarks that opposition politicians have lambasted the scheme and argued against governmental price regulation.

Népszava’s Miklós Hargitai finds the announced energy price calculation metrics unfair, unnecessary and damaging. The left-wing columnist accuses the government of exacting a de facto tribute from Hungarians by setting prices unjustly high. Hargitai predicts that the government will use energy prices to keep society under control. As the price of electric power and gas above average consumption will be adjusted every three months, the government can ‘keep the population on a short leash’, he writes. Hargitai speculates that in the near future, the government will increase prices to finance wasteful and corrupt public spending, then will lower prices again before the next elections.