Bence Rétvári, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Human Resources discussed Hungarian utility costs in an interview, highlighting that Hungary is leading the reform on cost of living reduction in the EU.
Cost of Living
Rétvári emphasized that since the conservative government took office, the number of Hungarian households that spend more than 40 per cent of their income on utilities has been reduced by half. He also stated that while on average 7.8 per cent of households in the EU struggle to pay their utility bills, in Hungary this number is merely 4.9 per cent.
The cost of living in Hungary has become one of the lowest in the entire European Union. Even though inflation caused by the war in Ukraine is taking its toll on every country’s economy, in Hungary, utility costs and loan interest rates have remained unaffected so far. Rétvári also noted that in Europe the cost of living was already high before the war, whereas the Hungarian utility costs reduction programme has protected citizens from enormous price increases.
He underpinned his statements with statistical figures provided by Eurostat. The statistical office of the European Union surveyed the rate of European households that must spend more than 40 per cent of their income on utilities. Since 2010, in Hungary this number has dropped 11.3 per cent to 4.9 per cent, while the EU average is much higher, currently standing at 7.8 per cent.
Government Measures have Protected Citizens
Mr. Rétvári also emphasised that the improvement of the situation of households in Hungary is spectacular. Fewer and fewer people struggle to pay for the cost of living. He added that in terms of the aforementioned numbers, Hungary is fourth-placed in the EU rankings, which means that despite the challenges posed by the war in Ukraine, Hungary has remained stable. Mr. Rétvári remarked that the improvement of the situation of Hungarian households is the result of a number of successful government measures: the reduction of utility costs, the termination of foreign currency loans, and the government’s support for new homeowners.