Hungary’s mayors can look forward to bonuses in their paychecks as the Fidesz government prepares for campaign season for 2018 elections.
According to mno.hu, an order approved by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will distribute HUF 2.8 billion among the mayors of Hungary’s 2,847 incorporated villages, towns and cities. HUF 10 million will be doled out by the Ministry of Interior and the remaining HUF 2.7 billion by the Ministry of National Economy.
The one-time payment will reach each mayor in three waves: the first 50 percent will be distributed by August 31 and the last 50 percent will go out in two installments, by October 31.
The payments to each mayor will be calculated based on the respective differences in their 2011 and 2016 monthly salaries, and will amount to 11 months worth of that difference.
The highest possible bonus based on the metric will be a substantial HUF 1,756,000 (USD 6,400) – the mayor of the Zala county village of Kistolmács (population 182) will receive such a sum. Mayor of the Vas county village of Hegyfalu, population 780, will receive only HUF 134,500.
Jobbik mayor of the village of Ózd Dávid Janiczák wrote to Magyar Nemzet to say that the payments do not represent a bonus, but rather the partial fulfillment of a general raise for mayors passed at the end of last year by the National Assembly. The passage of that order did not provide the money for the increased salaries, leaving the pay rises to the municipal governments to fund. This money amounts to a provision of funds from the central government for the fulfillment of that order, although late and not in its complete amount, Janiczák wrote.