The action plan developed to protect the Hungarian economy from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has succeeded in preserving jobs, its primary goal, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Thursday.
Addressing the annual meeting of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), Orbán said the number of jobholders reached pre-pandemic levels in December. The number of jobholders in Hungary bounced back to 4.5 million, Orbán said.
The government introduced a loan moratorium and a wage support scheme to support particularly hard-hit sectors, Orbán said. To bolster vulnerable players, the social contribution tax was scrapped and the business tax slashed by half, he said. The government has also rolled out an investment support scheme, he added.
Further, the cabinet has decided to introduce a new interest-free loan to help SMEs hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Orbán said.
SMEs can take out up to 10 million forints (EUR 28,000) in interest-free loan with a ten-year maturity and repayment starts only after three years, he said.
Hungary has introduced a series of restrictions based on a national consultation survey, which ensured a “stable” system based on restrictions developed in a joint effort with the public, Orbán said. Meanwhile, crisis management in western Europe consisted of alternating periods of restrictions and easing measures, he said.
A new national consultation survey will be launched in February on “issues regarding reopening,” he said.
“The new economic era will be ushered in by the wide-spread use of the vaccine,” he said.
After the survey, “decisions can be made effective March 1 and April 1, or April 3 which is Easter,” Orban said.
“If we are disciplined and adhere to the regulations, our lives may be freer from then on,” he said.