The moment that budget bill has been submitted to the Parliament, Hungarian opposition parties started to criticize the proposal. The LMP party said the government “has not learnt from its past mistakes” and the flat tax introduced in 2010 continues to give more to the rich. The government’s plan to further reduce the flat personal income tax rate would still only mean more savings for top earners. Dialogue for Hungary (PM) said the budget favoured “banks and the top one million earners”. The party repeated a proposal for a basic income available to everyone.
The Socialist party (MSZP) said economic growth should be used towards helping the poorest and SMEs. Sándor Burány, head of parliament’s budget committee, said a lack of sufficient growth in consumption and “the spiral effects of payroll costs” made it hard for SMEs to survive. He noted that the minimum wage had been tax exempt under the Socialist governments while it is now subject to 16% personal income tax. He said the Socialists would propose to reduce VAT on basic foods to 5% and introduce a single-digit personal income tax for low earners.
The left-wing Democratic Coalition (DK) said the bill put forward outlined a “budget of hopelessness with a development lag and stagnation”. Zsolt Gréczy, the party’s spokesman, said there were 4 million people in poverty in Hungary with another 2 million fearing getting poor. The government’s taxes on companies were high and banks were considered “enemies”, he said. Gréczy said welfare spending would not increase and the principles of solidarity did not come through in next year’s budget.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party said the government had “again submitted an austerity budget”. The economy is “incredibly overtaxed,” Dániel Z Kárpát, the deputy leader of the party’s parliamentary group, said. He mentioned a record-high 27% VAT rate and new types of tax introduced by the Orbán government since 2010, of which 8-10 were not needed, as key problems. Jobbik would introduce a tax based on production, small firms in tourism, industry and agriculture, he said. The opposition Együtt party said the budget serves the sole purpose of supporting “oligarchies” and a “huge state apparatus”. The party criticised the prime minister for high personal spending, including a planned relocation to the Castle district and football-related expenditures.
via hungarymatters.hu, MTI photo: Károly Árvai – MTI