Prime minister Viktor Orbán – Photo: PMO

LMP brands PM's proposed tax rebate 'campaign stunt'

Orbán: Hungary’s economy poised for successful relaunch

Hungary's economy is poised for a successful relaunch, Viktor Orbán said in a radio interview on Friday. Addressing the question of how public funds should be dispersed, the prime minister told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio that any extra revenue produced by the economy should be "given back" to the people who worked for it, especially to families who bore the brunt of the coronavirus crisis.

Orbán said anyone raising a child should recoup the money “they worked for and paid in taxes” up to the average income.

“Families need to have greater security in order to ensure a safer, less fragile economy,” he said, adding that since low earners tended to be in the most precarious position, the minimum wage would have to be raised. A balance must be struck between hiking the minimum wage and maintaining the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, the prime minister said.

‘Migrants banging on European doors’

As the pandemic is being reined in, the issue of migration will move back into the focus of European politics, Orbán said. “Legions of migrants are banging on almost all European doors”, the prime minister told Kossuth Radio.

The number of illegal border crossing attempts at Hungary’s southern borders increased to 38,000 so far this year as against around 10,000 in the same period of last year, he said. The pressure of migration is growing not only on land but also at Europe’s maritime borders, he added.

Hungary’s position is clear in rejecting migration, Orbán said. Migration is especially dangerous at the time of a pandemic, which is why he proposed not allowing any kind of migration for two years, he said.

Commenting on the 137,000 people who had not shown up for the second coronavirus vaccination, he said “Hungarians generally have a sense of responsibility but it seems not everybody does”.

Orbán asked everyone to show up for the second jab because failing to do so will result in the cancellation of their vaccination certificate. This, however, will not apply to people who could not receive the second jab because of health reasons, he added.

LMP brands PM’s proposed tax rebate ‘campaign stunt’

Opposition LMP has branded a personal income tax rebate for low-earning parents proposed by the prime minister this week as a “campaign stunt”, saying that the government should have instead helped families and businesses over the past year and a half.
Mate Kanasz-Nagy, the party’s co-leader, told an online press conference on Friday that the sole purpose of the tax rebate was to maximise votes for the ruling parties. Otherwise, he said, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “would have done something for the people or businesses hurting because of the crisis, like expanding the wage support scheme”.

Erzsebet Schmuck, LMP’s other co-leader, criticised the newly announced National Consultation public survey on Hungary’s economic recovery. She dismissed the government stance that the costs of climate protection should be borne by the biggest polluting companies as “propaganda”, arguing that the government provided far more support to multinationals than to Hungarian small businesses. Around 60 percent of Hungary’s CO2 emissions can be chalked up to transport and households, yet the government is building motorways instead of supporting public transport and refuses to provide support for building insulation, she said.

Concerning the planned climate tax, Schmuck said the European Union’s plan was to expand its emissions trading scheme to households and the transport sector with a view to reducing energy and fuel consumption. But since the details of the plan have yet to be finalised, it is impossible to hold a proper debate on it, she said, insisting that the prime minister was merely “trying to rile people up”.


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