Socialists: Orbán’s cabinet preparing to relaunch residency bond scheme
The opposition Socialist Party on Wednesday said the Orbán government was planning to resume the sale of residency bonds if Fidesz wins next year’s general election.
Speaking at a press conference, Socialist lawmaker Tamás Harangozó cited an article in Wednesday’s edition of the daily Magyar Nemzet according to which it had been made clear at a recent immigration conference in Geneva that the markets were expecting the Hungarian government to relaunch the scheme.
Since the scheme was suspended in a government decree, it could be resumed by issuing another one, within a day if necessary, Harangozo said.
He said the state had suffered 5 billion forints in losses from interest rate spreads alone because of the scheme. Further, some 100 billion-150 billion forints in “profit losses” have ended up with — mostly offshore — companies involved in the residency bond scheme, Harangozo insisted.
Harangozo said the scrapping of the scheme would be among the new Socialist government’s first acts if his party wins in 2018. The government would also hold companies involved in the scheme to account and impose a special 75 percent tax on them through which they would pay back the majority of the profits they made on the scheme, he added. Harangozó said the money that would flow in from this tax would be spent on education, health care and pension rises.
In response, ruling Fidesz dismissed Harangozó’s remarks calling them “lies”. In a statement, Fidesz said that “the bond scheme would not have been necessary had the Socialist Party not indebted the country”, and insisted that the bond programme was no longer needed in light of the country’s improved financial situation.