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Opposition parties condemn new taxes

Szazadveg: Voters support windfall taxes

Fully 79 percent of respondents in a recent Szazadveg survey expressed support for the government's decision to levy a supertax on companies making extra profits to finance the government's public utility cuts programme, the pollster said in Thursday.

According to the Szazadveg report, 89 percent of respondents blame the war in Ukraine, 90 percent the energy crisis, 79 percent European sanctions, and 77 percent for large companies raising their prices in anticipation of steeper inflation.

Fully 71 percent said the EU’s energy and tax policy contributed to increasing inflation pressure, while 67 percent also blamed the US government’s policies.

The majority of respondents, 84 percent, “expect companies making extra profits in a war situation to help the Hungarian people and contribute to Hungary’s defence spending”, the pollster said.

Opposition parties condemn new taxes

Parties of the opposition have criticised the government for its Wednesday decision to make certain large companies pay a part of their extra profits to a new public utility cut fund and a defence fund.

The Democratic Coalition said the government was seeking to make residents pay for its “ill-advised policies and reckless corruption”. In a statement, the party said it was “obvious” that energy and telecommunications companies, banks and airlines would raise revenues to pay a new tax through raising their prices. “PM Orbán’s new taxes will be paid by the Hungarian people,” it said.

Radical Mi Hazank (Our Homeland) said the government had implemented Mi Hazank’s earlier proposal, but “it will not impose a tax on its own oligarchs”. During the coronavirus pandemic, Mi Hazank demanded a supertax to be levied on large international companies such as tech firms, large chains, pharmaceuticals and casinos. The government, however, has “opted to indebt the next generations through amassing the state debt rather than levying a tax on multinationals”, the party said. Pharmaceuticals and casinos “associated with the oligarchs of (ruling) Fidesz” have been left unaffected by the new measure, they said.

LMP said it supported that companies with extra profits should take a larger part of the public burden. It said, however, that a third fund should also have been established and financed by companies making profits on polluting and fossil fuels. This fund could be used to finance insulation projects and renewable energy developments, the party said.

Conservative Jobbik said in time of crisis “everybody should bear the public burden”. “The problem is that the government allowed an opportunity for banks to transfer the costs of a special banking tax and transaction duty to customers”, Jobbik’s deputy leader Daniel Z. Karpat said on Facebook, adding that the new measures should not impose new burdens on families. Fidesz “expects traders to pay a contribution but it will not reach into its own pockets by, for example, eliminating the VAT on basic food products,” he added.

Socialist Party co-leader Bertalan Toth said on Facebook that “oligarchs” associated with the ruling parties should not be exempted from the new windfall taxes. According to the Socialists, the new taxes should also be used to reduce taxes on wages while the VAT on basic foods should be reduced to 5 percent and the poorest should be given food tickets.

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