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Hungary’s budget 2018 – The plenary debate of the bill: Opposition parties slam budget bill

Hungary’s budget 2018 – The plenary debate of the bill: Opposition parties slam budget bill

Budapest, May 17 (MTI) – In a debate of the Fidesz government’s budget bill on Wednesday, opposition lawmakers slammed the bill as an “election budget” which would also boost graft.

The Socialist group leader called for the 2018 budget bill to be rewritten with a view to making it fair while “halting Fidesz corruption”.

The 2018 budget promotes social injustice and corruption because its rewards the rich while punishing the poor, Bertalan Tóth said.

“We’ve been paying more taxes over the past seven years, and yet less and less money is going towards the state because it’s funnelled to Fidesz’s stadiums, its propaganda and a nuclear plant that will never turn profit,” Tóth said.

Those with a monthly income of above 1 million forints (EUR 3,227) or assets of 100 million forints and above should be taxed more heavily, he said.

Attila Mesterházy, (Socialist) head of the parliamentary budget committee, said the Socialists proposed changes to spending in the social sector, health care and education. He said that family benefits had not risen since 2008 and he proposed raising them by 35 percent. Further, maternity and child support should also be hiked, he added.

The opposition Jobbik party said the 2018 budget was clearly targeted at winning the general election. Jobbik lawmaker Dániel Z Kárpát said his party’s experts had identified 600 billion forints (EUR 1.9bn) of planned spending on “prestige projects … or for completely opaque purposes”.

Jobbik MP János Volner said the fact that the Hungarian budget’s balance was showing an improvement was purely thanks to external factors rather than measures the Orbán government had taken. He added that economic growth sustainability was doubtful and the economy depended on foreign financing, EU support and foreign investments.

The deputy group leader of the green opposition LMP party, Erzsébet Schmuck, said employees, SMEs, the sick and the vulnerable were among the “losers” of next year’s budget. Especially disadvantaged would be citizens living with disabilities, NGOs, teachers, and the higher-education and health-care sectors, she said. The government has allowed areas outside the capital to fall behind, she said, adding that Hungary continued to be dependent on external resources such as EU funding and a vibrant global economy.

LMP co-leader Ákos Hadházy said the bill benefited multinational companies while squandering EU funding.

Photo: MTI

Source: MTI

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