Orbán adviser on child hunger gets record salary, spends lavishly on meals

September 11, 2017

Zsuzsanna Hegedűs, one of 11 advisers to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, is the highest paid of them all, receiving a net HUF 920,000 (USD 3,600) per month. According to investigative journalism NGO Direkt36.hu, Hegedűs, who also manages a foundation which combats child hunger, spent HUF 1.5 million (USD 6,000) of ministry funds last year entertaining guests at restaurants. Direkt36, however, found no signs that Hegedűs had organized any such events for which she would have been financially responsible for the guests.

Direkt36 asked both the Prime Minister’s Office and Hegedűs what the money had been spent on, but Orbán’s office did not answer and Hegedűs said only that she would be working on a campaign in September and would not answer any questions from the media. According to data published by Direkt36, she spent HUF 2.4 million entertaining guests between October 2015 and March 2017.

Hegedűs has advised Orbán on matters of social inclusion and social conflict since Fidesz’s return to power in 2010. She receives around HUF 160,000 more than the next-highest paid adviser per month, and received a 30 percent increase in her salary last year, the highest allowed by law. Her unusually high salary has been the subject of media inquiry since at least 2011.