“This year, pensions will be increasing by 2.7 percent, the increased pensions will be arriving on bank accounts on 11 January and the post office will begin deliveries on 16 January; pensions will be increasing by an annual 42 thousand forints in the case of an average pension”, Bence Rétvári said.

At a press conference in Budapest, the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Parliamentary State Secretary recalled: in 2010, when Fidesz-KDNP were given the opportunity to govern, they undertook to preserve the real value of pensions. This was an ambitious undertaking, because one months’ pension was taken away from pensioners not long before, and there was a deficit of hundreds of billions of forints in the pension fund.

The State Secretary highlighted that the Government had succeeded in keeping its promise, and has in fact achieved much more.

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He told the press that pensioners can expect a pension increase of 2.7 percent this year. In the case of an average pension, this equates to 3500 forints-a-month, which means 42 thousand forints annually. The measure affects 2.5 million pensioners, he added.

Mr. Rétvári also said that pensions have increased by 33 percent since 2010, and that after deducting inflation we can talk about a ten percent increase in real value, meaning pensions are worth this much more.

We have developed a system that guaranteed that pensioners cannot come off badly, because if inflation is higher than planned, pensioners receive the difference in arrears, but if inflation is lower, they can keep the difference, he added.

The State Secretary also spoke about the fact that the situation of the elderly has not only been improved through pension increases. As an example, he pointed out that 24 billion forints (EUR 75 million) has been paid out in pensions premiums in 2017 and 42.3 billion (EUR 132 million) in 2018. Pensioners also received Erzsébet Vouchers in 2016, 2017 and 2018, at a total value of 81 billion forints (EUR 252 million), and 240 thousand women have taken part in the “Women40” programme.

The Government has also assisted pensioners through the reduction of public utility charges, and 260 thousand pensioners have been able to participate in the Erzsébet programme since 2010, he added.

Mr. Rétvári was also asked about the opposition demonstration planed for Saturday. The State Secretary said: “The pro-immigration opposition is continuing its theatrics”, as it has previously done in parliament and public spaces. Their goal, which is included in the Soros scenario, is to make Hungary an immigrant country, but we do not want this, and we will not take part in this.