Gergely Karácsony
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony – Photo: MTI / Zsolt Szigetváry

Karacsony: Employers, employees looking to government to compensate Budapest for lost revenues

The coordination council of employers, employees and municipal representatives (Foet) has suggested that Budapest should be compensated from central coffers for lost business tax revenues so that "it can perform its public tasks at a high level", Mayor Gergely Karacsony said on Facebook.

Karacsony said Foet had held a meeting earlier in the day where participants discussed possible ramifications of the government suspending the business tax as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that losing further revenues could “force the local government to take steps that would significantly impact the infrastructure and public services for businesses and residents”.

Wage rise negotiations to continue next week

The forum of employers, unions and the government (VKF) failed to move any closer to an agreement on this year’s minimum wage rise at a meeting on Wednesday and will continue talks in the coming week.

Employers continued to offer a 3.1 percent increase, while unions stuck to their demand of 5 percent, representatives of the sides told MTI.

Ferenc Rolek, the deputy head of employers’ association MGYOSZ, said the possibility of modifying the “cafeteria” voucher system to bridge the gap between the sides was brought up at the meeting, but said that was an option for the government to decide.

Laszlo Kordas, who heads unions association MASZSZ, said union leaders were looking to the government to break the deadlock. He added that while unions are standing firm on the 5 percent increase, “other confederations” have signalled they may be willing to yield ground in the interest of sealing a deal.

Kordas stressed the importance of reaching an agreement on the matter by January 20, so the increase can show up in workers’ January paycheks.

At present, the gross monthly minimum wage for skilled workers is 210,600 forints (EUR 587) and the minimum wage for unskilled workers is 161,000 forints.

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