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Opposition Parties Criticize The Government’s Budgetary Policy

Tamás Székely 2014.12.16.

Opposition politicians savaged the government’s economic policies ahead of the budget vote. Socialist (MSZP) lawmaker Sándor Burány said that the budget was based on tax rises which had a common theme: the government was taxing everything it possibly could. The Socialist head of parliament’s budget committee said the government’s goal was to safeguard the deficit target while paying for “prestige investments”. He qualified its plans as pure and shameless extortion, and were it not to do this in parliament then it would do it on the street — for which it would be punished. He said the government planned to steal the 200 billion forints of savings in private pensions, adding that it would at the same time raise taxes on food.

Radical nationalist party JOBBIK said that the budget “encodes Hungary’s future inability to stay on a growth path”. Dániel Z Kárpát, the party’s deputy group leader, told the press that previous austerity measures and new types of tax deprived the budget of guarantees for the future such as home creation and incentives to couples to have children.

The government is forsaking people who are hard up while taking more money from everyone through special taxes and tax rises, the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said ahead of the parliamentary vote on the 2015 budget. DK lawmaker László Varju told a news conference that on the expenditure side there was funding for new sports stadiums, a mangalitsa farm in Felcsút (a village where the prime minister owns a cottage), swimming pools and foreign travel. He said the governing parties would be voting for a budget of “stagnancy, social exclusion and impoverishment”.

EGYÜTT lawmaker Zsuzsanna Szelényi said the government was “taxing people to death” with its “dilettante budget”. She told a news conference that businesspeople, protesters and citizens who are fed up have signalled what they think of the plans for next year’s budget, which she said represented a continuation of the policies of the ruling Fidesz party to “grab everything for the state and for Viktor Orbán”.

Dialogue for Hungary (PM) likened the budget to a lot of alcohol which “kills, makes you stupid and impoverished”. Tímea Szabó, the party’s co-leader, told a news conference that with the passing of the budget the last crust of bread would be taken away from poor children, as well as their right to education. Meanwhile, the public jobs scheme impoverishes those who might otherwise have a chance of getting a proper job.

Hungarian society’s richest 10% are the greatest beneficiaries of the 2015 budget, green LMP party politicians told a news conference ahead of the final vote. The budget will serve to expand the asset and income gap, Péter Róna, a party advisor, told a news conference held together with LMP lawmaker Erzsébet Schmuck, who said the budget would contribute to deepening poverty. She said the government had failed to reduce the level of the public debt while its flat income tax was a failure. Employment has only grown thanks to government public jobs schemes, she insisted.  Róna slammed the National Bank of Hungary for “wheeling out” 350 billion forints which rightfully should have gone to the treasury and could have been used to eradicate childhood poverty.

via photo: Gergely Botár –