The government has decided to suspend until the end of the year the capital and interest rate payment obligations of both private individuals and businesses under effective loan agreements, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

The government has also decided to extend short term business loans until June 30,

and maximised the “total cost of borrowing” indicator, known by the acronym “THM”, for new retail loans at the national bank’s base rate plus 5 percent, Orbán said.

The government will also waive the employers’ social security tax in full until June 30 in the ailing tourism, catering, entertainment, sports and cultural services, and for taxi drivers,

the prime minister said, adding that employee contributions would be significantly reduced, and pension contributions would be suspended.

Taxi drivers paying their tax in the “kata” scheme are exempted until June 30, Orbán said.

In the sectors most affected by the new coronavirus epidemic property lease contracts cannot be terminated, nor can owner raise the rent, Orbán said, adding that the government was working to make employment rules more flexible.

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Opposition Socialist leader Bertalan Tóth in response welcomed that the new government measures had put his party’s past proposals in practice but urged the implementation of further measures. He criticised the fact that only certain areas would be eligible for allowances and said the measures announced so far would not resolve the problems of all SMEs. He said it was unacceptable that the government would still leave it up to employers and employees to secure employees’ living. He urged for a comprehensive agreement between trade unions and employers’ organisations that would cover all areas. He also called for a ban on lay-offs by multinationals.

Two lawmakers of conservative Jobbik urged Hungarians not to leave their homes unless they need to complete an urgent task, purchase protective gear or care for those in need.

János Stummer and György László Lukács called on the government to implement further measures that they said should include setting up a general job protection fund for all sectors and introducing a moratorium on the payment of household bills.

A lawmaker of green LMP said they urge stricter workplace rules such as ordering the use of face masks in public institutions, shops and public transport.

LMP also urges closing outdoor markets, László Lóránt Keresztes told an online press conference.

The party’s economy support proposals include launching a state subsidy scheme for elderly care services, setting up a rental support scheme for those losing their jobs, introducing a moratorium on dismissals and terminating some investment projects, he said.

Source: MTI

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