A number of opposition parties criticised supplemental measures to the government’s plan to shield the economy from epidemic fallout announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Saturday. Meanwhile, Fidesz says that Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony is sapping the capital of ten years of reserves in two years.
The spokesman for the Democratic Coalition (DK) said the government had “dug deep into the pockets of municipal councils” by halving the local business tax. The party called on the government to instead waive the corporate tax and give direct support to businesses in trouble as well as people who have lost their jobs because of “insufficient government action to protect workplaces”, Balázs Barkóczi said.
Jobbik head Péter Jakab said in a message on Facebook that the government’s pledge to cover two-thirds of payroll costs in sectors forced to shutter because of the epidemic was “too little even for cosmetic relief”, adding that no mention was made of raising job-seekers’ benefits.
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The Socialists’ co-leader Bertalan Tóth said a reduction in the VAT rate on staples or an increase in job-seekers’ benefits would have helped, but “the Fidesz regime again does not provide assistance to people struggling to get by”.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, the co-chair of Párbeszéd, said in a statement from the party that halving the local business tax
“will not manage the crisis, but make it worse”.
Meanwhile, Fidesz says that Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony is sapping the capital of ten years of reserves in two years, the local chapter of governing Fidesz said on their Facebook page on Saturday, a day after the city’s 2021 budget was announced.
The chapter said Karácsony had taken the unprecedented step of deciding on the budget by himself, without any discussion with the municipal council opposition.
They added that Karácsony had failed to show up at a scheduled meeting in the afternoon on Friday, and Fidesz council members, who had brought amendments to the budget, left after an hour and a half. Later on Friday, they learnt that Karácsony had decided on the main budget figures himself,
“without a minimum degree of transparency”.
On Friday, Karácsony, exercising state-of-emergency powers because of the epidemic, declared next year’s budget would have expenditures of 390 billion forints (EUR 1.09bn) and revenue of 249.4 billion forints. The 140.6 billion forint deficit will be financed with 63.1 billion forints in residuals, 45.5 billion forints in credit and 38.1 billion forints in domestic securities, while the city will also repay 6.1 billion forints of its debt, he added.
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