March 7, 2018 / 1:23 PM / in 9 months

Hungary PM announces new batch of pre-election handouts

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban talks during a forum of the chamber of industry in Budapest, Hungary, March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced new pre-election handouts to families and pensioners on Wednesday, saying the government would provide heating subsidies and a one-off voucher for food purchases to pensioners.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Orban said the government would provide a 10,000 forint ($39.85) food voucher to all pensioners and refund 12,000 forints from winter gas bills to families. It was not immediately clear whether the heating subsidy would be paid from the budget or by gas firms.

The announcement by Orban, who faces an election on April 8, comes a day after the 54-year-old prime minister committed to keeping the budget deficit within the European Union’s 3 percent of economic output limit in the 2018 election year.

($1 = 250.95 forints)

Reporting by Krisztina Than and Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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