Regarding the itemised tax for small businesses (kata), changes to which have triggered protests in Budapest this week, PM Viktor Orbán told today morning to public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió that the tax was originally created to offer a simple and easy-to-handle tax for small businesses providing for private customers. However, companies have been using the tax to force their employees to work as sole proprietors through kata, he said.
Of some 450,000 kata taxpayers, some 300,000 now invoice companies, “mostly just one company, which is basically a hidden contract,” he said. “Now that there is a war and we need to employ wartime logic, this cannot go on,” he said. The correct response to a war situation is cooperation, rather than political profiteering, Orbán said, asking people affected by changes to kata and households paying capped utility fees to understand recent government decisions affecting them.
The leftist opposition have proven during the election campaign that they could not be trusted with leading the country, “much less in warlike conditions”, Orbán said. They “have been sitting idly by” since suffering that defeat, then
tried to “ride the waves” as soon as the first unpopular measures were introduced,
he said. Orbán said the leftist opposition was likely to continue with those tactics, using future “measures that can be questioned or debated” to whip up a negative atmosphere for political gain. He added that this was a very bad policy because in a war situation, the only solution is to join forces.
The government has announced an energy emergency, and is setting up an operative body to deal with the situation, headed by the prime minister’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyás, he said. To save the achievements of the government’s utility price caps, the measure will have to be restricted, Orbán said. Those using energy above the Hungarian average will have to pay market prices for the energy consumed over the Hungarian average “or try to restrict consumption”. Otherwise, the entire utility price cut scheme would be in peril, he said.
While left-wing parties have never backed the utility price caps, “we introduced them … and now, we will protect them as far as average consumption goes,” he said.
He asked kata taxpayers and households to “understand what’s happening” and help the government to maintain an operational country, people’s living standards, jobs and to protect pensions.