Budapest, November 13 (MTI) – The draft budget for 2015 submitted to Parliament is realistic and well-planned as confirmed by the State Audit Office and the Fiscal Council, Economy Minister Mihaly Varga told public television M1 late on Wednesday.
Asked about the government’s plan to raise the top rate of the ad tax from 40 to 50 percent, the minister said that the tax had met expectations as an instrument to promote the sharing of public burdens, with the larger players of the market contributing more to the state coffers.
The minister said the government’s proposal was not about RTL Klub, adding that, to the best of his knowledge, TV2 would pay the top rate in 2015, too. Broadcaster RTL Klub’s parent earlier complained that its Hungarian unit was the only company to pay the top rate this year.
Varga said that talks on the co-ruling Christian Democrats’ proposal for introducing restrictions on shops’ opening hours on Sunday were still under way and pointed towards a compromise.
Varga said last week that it would be unwise to restrict Sunday shopping when a fifth of Hungarians do their weekly shopping precisely on that day.
In his interview, the minister also said that the government could extend a toll on commercial vehicles to buses to raise budget revenue.
Varga named the extension of the toll among possibilities when responding to the State Audit Office’s earlier remark that the government had not detailed measures explaining a planned increase in revenue from the toll in next year’s budget.
The toll, as well as the Sunday shopping issue could be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, he said.
Varga put the amount of compensation banks must pay under borrowers’ relief legislation approved in the summer at 1,100 billion forints.
He said a bill on fair banks submitted by the government to lawmakers would put an end to the “era of small print”. Banks will have to cover the cost of complying with the new regulations, he added.