Budapest, June 2 (MTI) – Hungary is set to introduce a tax on advertising, Economy Minister Mihaly Varga said in an interview to public radio today.

Varga told Kossuth Radio that it appeared “highly likely” that lawmakers would approve a tax on ads.

Under a draft of a bill circulated last year, companies with annual revenue of between 1 and 5 billion forints (EUR 3.3m-16m) would pay tax of 1 percent of turnover, those with 5-10 billion 10 percent and anything above 10 billion would be taxed at 20 percent.

Asked about whether there was a need to amend the budget in light of the deficit up to April which hit 97 percent of the full-year target, Varga said the budget for years had been massively frontloaded with things evening out in the second half of the year, so this year there was nothing unusual. Last year and in 2012 the budget deficit had come in at below 3 percent of GDP and the plan is for 2.9 percent this year, he added.

If the budget is altered, it will be because the government will have made asset decisions in the course of the year and it will be necessary to put the proposals before parliament in order to guarantee the funds for purchasing those company assets, the minister said. Major reserves are contained in the budget, he added.

Varga said there was a “big chance” of introducing a single-digit personal income tax in the third term of Viktor Orban’s government, but this would depend on whether the current growth path of the Hungarian economy proves to be sustainable in the coming years.

After the Kuria’s ruling on forex mortgages, expected on Tuesday, the government will be ready to re-engage with the issue of troubled borrowers and find a solution which eradicates these types of loans from the Hungarian market. It is in everyone’s interest to find a solution that genuinely helps debtors without endangering the normal operations of the banking system, he added.



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