Budapest, January 12 (MTI) – The radical nationalist Jobbik party on Monday called on the government to withdraw solar panels from an environmental product fee, saying that the tax would be “yet another nail in the coffin” of Hungary’s economy and energy independence.
Lajos Kepli, a lawmaker of the opposition party, said in a statement that the government had made needless “luxury investments” and had pursued a reckless economic policy, and such taxes were desperate measures to plug gaps in the budget.
The environmental product tax, which the Jobbik MP called a “tax on sunlight”, would, he said, make solar panels several thousand forints more expensive. He also called for the lowest (5 percent) tax rate to apply to the panels.
At the weekend, opposition parties LMP, Together and PM protested against the government’s plan. Green LMP called it “unacceptable”. A spokesman of the Together (Egyutt) party called on President Janos Ader to intervene. Dialogue for Hungary (PM) said the plan was among the “the darkest” of the Orban government.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said the environmental product fee favours gas importers only and it should be abolished. Lajos Olah, the party’s lawmaker who sits as an independent, said MET Zrt, which has an “untraceable ownership structure” and the Paks II project team are among beneficiaries of the environmental fee on solar panels. By scaling back green energy, the need for the Paks nuclear plant can be better justified, Olah said.
He said DK would submit a proposal for a law amendment on this issue. Solar panels have actually been put into the “very polluting” category, and they therefore carry a higher product fee than batteries, he said.