Illustration - Photo: pxfuel

Socialists call for making minimum wage tax-exempt

The Socialist Party will be campaigning in the upcoming opposition primary in favour of making the minimum wage tax-exempt and reducing the income tax for low earners, the party's co-leader said on Sunday.

The measures would help some 2.3 million people earning less than 321,000 forints (EUR 897) a month, Bertalan Toth told an online press conference.

According to the party’s calculations, making the minimum wage tax-exempt would cost the state budget around 250-300 billion forints, which the state could afford, he said.

“The Fidesz regime’s 11 years in power have resulted in the average worker barely making enough to make ends meet,” Toth said. “What’s more, Fidesz has spent the coronavirus pandemic saving its own oligarchs instead of workers, which has led to a livelihood crisis.”

Toth said it was “shameful” that the minimum wage in Hungary was lower than in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. “And the worst part is that the Hungarian minimum wage has several taxes totalling over 30 percent levied on it,” he said.

Making the minimum wage tax-exempt would increase it by over 25,000 forints, Toth said.

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