Budapest (MTI) – Hungarian opposition parties slammed the 2018 draft budget submitted to parliament by the economy minister on Tuesday.
Opposition Jobbik called the bill an election budget and said the family benefits proposed in the draft would only favour the prime minister and those close to him.
Daniel Z Kárpát, the party’s deputy leader, told a press conference that the budget would not improve the economy or make the lives of Hungarian families any easier. He criticised the year-end “premium” pencilled in for pensioners saying that because of previously underestimated inflation levels, pensioners were only now going to get what they would already have been entitled to.
He also criticised the 27 percent VAT rate, the “exotic taxes” that he said the budget keeps in place and what he said was the budget’s failure to address the situation of troubled forex borrowers.
He said the government was overestimating economic growth for next year, adding that the absence of baseline data meant that it was guaranteed that the budget would have to be amended.
Green opposition LMP said prior to the bill’s submission that the budget would serve the interests of oligarchs and large multinationals over those of Hungarian workers and businesses.
Erzsebet Schmuck, the party’s deputy group leader, cited advance information available about the budget and criticised the “unfair and unsuccessful” flat rate tax system being maintained next year. She told a press conference that family tax allowances were to increase by only 15 billion forints (EUR 48m) and at the same time, the corporate tax cut which benefits mostly multinationals would pose a 150 billion forint burden on the budget. She welcomed the reduced VAT on fish and internet services but added that these would not really make people’s lives better.
The 2018 budget will fail to help those that really need help and it will benefit those that would not really need it, she said.