On November 22, Fidesz representative Szilárd Németh submitted a bill to the National Assembly that would require an official notice informing residents of the money they have saved as a result of the government’s twenty-percent cuts in utility fees to be displayed in a visible place in every residential building containing privately owned apartments in Hungary. This bill, as all others that the Orbán government or Fidesz–Christian Democratic People’s Party National Assembly representatives submit, will certainly become law. Below is an Orange Files translation of the notice (see original notice in Hungarian):
The Orbán government’s National Development Ministry issued a decree that went into effect earlier this year stipulating that all utility bills had to display the amount of money saved as a result of the utility-fee cuts in a field of orange, the party color of Fidesz. Below is an Orange Files translation of the relevant parts of the officially decreed format for utility bills (see original bill format in Hungarian):
The National Consumer Protection Authority subsequently fined six energy companies the albeit nominal total sum of 37.5 million forints (around 125,00 euros) for failing to follow the new bill format (source in Hungarian).
In order to even better publicize the utility-fee cuts, the government has put up signs and posters all over Budapest (and presumably the rest of Hungary) reading either “-20% Utility-Fee Cuts” or simply “Utility-Fee Cuts.”
National Economy Minister Mihály Varga has said that the government may cut the centrally regulated fees for electricity, gas and district heating by a further 10 percent next year.
The utility-fee cuts have become the cornerstone of the Orbán government’s attempt to mobilize popular support ahead of the 2014 National Assembly election. The primary purpose of the cuts is to portray the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as a benevolent, though strong-handed leader who is willing to take on multinational energy companies in order to defend the interests of the Magyar nation.