Report: Government may give up utility fee reduction

History

The Hungarian government may be forced to abandon the idea of a government-mandated utility fee reduction, according to an official letter reportedly sent by Minister of Justice László Trócsányi to EU Energy and Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete on May 8, Hungarian economic weekly HVG said today, citing the letter they had acquired.

According to HVG, the letter says that the Hungarian government is planning changes to current regulations to make energy service providers eligible to appeal in court if they disagree with the  prices determined by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority. The changes reportedly state that the government will ensure energy service providers with a market where they can make a profit, and the extraordinary tax on utility providers would cease to exist.

In March, the European Union began infringement proceedings against the Hungarian government, claiming that the  Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority does not operate independently, and that the energy service providers are not able to appeal in court against the regulated prices by the energy authority. Hence the changes to be introduced by the Hungarian government.

HVG expects these changes to put an end to the utility fee reductions initiated by the Hungarian government.

As reported by HVG, the letter does not mention a specific date when the government will fulfill these measures.

Political analysts claimed earlier that the government-mandated utility fee reduction played a significant role in Fidesz being re-elected as Hungary’s ruling party in 2014. Utility fee reductions have been advertised by the government in official letters sent to Hungarian citizens containing their utility invoices and on billboards.

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