Opposition Budapest mayor Gergely Karácsony caused fresh outrage last week with his decision to increase funeral prices by as much as 20 percent, conservative daily Magyar Nemzet writes.
“Brutal price rise are coming tn the Megyeri street cemetery as well,” conservative mayor of Budapest’s 4th district, Zsolt Wintermantel wrote in a Facebook post. “Gergely Karácsony wants to increase urn burial prices by 15 percent and casket funeral prices by 20 percent! Interesting that there was no need for that in the past five years. The left can always only think in terms of price rises!”
Another conservative district mayor, Péter Kovács of the 16th district, located in one of the capital’s largest cemeteries, posted on Facebook that according to a proposal on which the capital’s assembly will vote at an extraordinary meeting on Aug. 27, both funeral prices and grave lot rentals will increase by 20 percent.
Kovács wrote that during his last five years in office, the previous conservative mayor of Budapest, István Tarlós left funeral prices unchanged.
In an interview with news channel ATV, deputy Budapest mayor Ambrus Kiss said that over the past three years the municipality-owned Budapest Funeral Institute amassed losses of 1.7 billion forints (€4.84 million), which the mayor’s office had to cover from its own budget, incurring a cost of 34,000 forints per Budapest resident.
He added that while the municipality increased funeral workers’ wages by 58 percent over the same period, that was still not enough and all cemeteries of the capital face labor shortages of varying degrees.