Politicians, whistleblowers turn to EP cttee over Hungary “VAT fraud”
Budapest, February 9 (MTI) – A former lawmaker of the opposition LMP party and two former tax office employees will submit a joint petition to the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee over “the VAT fraud issue” in Hungary, it was announced at a press conference on Monday.
Speaking at the event, Benedek Javor, an MEP delegated by the opposition Dialogue for Hungary party, said that Hungary’s central budget is estimated to have lost about 1,000 billion forints (EUR 3,3bn) per year in unpaid VAT.
He said that governments of EU member states had suffered combined losses of 200 billion euros per year due VAT fraud, and since revenues in the EU are tied to VAT payments made by the individual member states, unpaid VAT directly affects the common EU budget. The alleged Hungarian VAT fraud therefore affects the EU directly, he said, adding that the petition could be a good way of mobilising EU institutions.
Gabor Vago, a former green LMP party lawmaker, said the petition provides the EP committee with an outline of the alleged fraud brought to light by former tax office employee Andras Horvath.
Horvath claimed in November, 2013 that the tax office NAV had turned a blind eye to VAT fraud on the scale of one thousand billion forints a year.
Horvath told Monday’s press conference that no investigation has been conducted by the government despite the fact that he has been out in the public with the issue for now 15 months.
Vago said the petition’s aim is to ask the EP to set up a body tasked with scrutinising VAT fraud on a European level and to set up a European-level prosecution because the Hungarian public prosecutor had “failed to act.”
Further, they ask the EP to urge more active cooperation among relevant authorities of the EU member states and to draft a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy, Vago said.
They also asked the European Commission to launch a direct investigation into the Hungarian case.
At the event, Vago, Horvath and Istvan Vancsura, the other former tax office employee, signed the petition they will submit to the EP later in the day.