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Coronavirus: Business Chamber Proposes Measures to Ease Economic Impact of Epidemic

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.31.

The Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (MKIK) on Monday unveiled a new package of proposals it has sent to the government on ways to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus.

MKIK is proposing the government help preserve jobs and manage the rise in unemployment with a mix of grant money and credit to be repaid in 2021 or 2022.

The chamber is also proposing that the Small Business Tax (KIVA) rate be lowered from 12 percent to 9 percent.

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Businesses that opt for KIVA pay the tax on a base of payroll expenditures plus dividends and capital transfers. KIVA businesses are exempt from the payroll tax, training tax and corporate tax.

MKIK wants the government to roll out targeted payroll tax preferences up to 50,000 forints per employee, capped at 12.5 million per business, but only for staff that companies keep on payroll. The preferences would apply only to blue-collar workers in certain sectors.

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The chamber proposes workers reach agreements with their employers on taking their holiday days, after which time they would stay home while still getting a pay cheque. Employers would cover 60 percent of those wage costs and the state 20 percent, while employees would agree to a 20 percent pay cut.

MKIK proposes that Hungarians laid off after March 1 get one-off material support from the state as a show of solidarity and goodwill.

They also propose making broadband internet free of charge.

The chamber proposes introducing a new kind of fostered work programme and urges the government to extend the eligibility period for jobless benefits from three months to 180 days.

Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI

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