In order to be able to pay for the cost of energy prices inflated by the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, the Hungarian government has frozen all non-essential payments to ministries, the finance ministry confirmed on Wednesday.
In response to an inquiry by commercial television station ATV, the finance ministry confirmed in writing the spending freeze.
“The government has imposed disciplined, frugal management on the budget in response to the energy crisis triggered by the sanctions. Sanction surcharges have to be paid for natural gas and electricity, so while the sanctions are in place, the government will continue to manage (the budget) frugally,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry assured that the government “automatically pays salaries, pensions, public education, higher education, social, health and public service expenditures, as well as payments for EU programs for 2014-2020 and for material costs.”
All other payments, however, will require the authorization of the finance minister.
The ministry did not specify the size of potential savings the spending freeze would bring.