Opposition promises fairer personal income tax system to fight corruption

Representatives of the united opposition, if they win the legislative elections next spring, have pledged to make the personal income tax system fairer and to fight corruption.

They also pledged to introduce a European minimum wage as well as measures promoting a level playing field for entrepreneurs.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Márton Ilyés de Momentum said personal income tax brackets would not be increased but the system could be made fairer by lowering taxes for low-paid workers, adding that minimum wage taxes were high in Hungary compared to to the other Member States of the European Union.

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The personal income tax refund for families raising children will amount to a tax reduction of 600 billion forints.

In addition, the opposition is considering measures to reduce the gap between the underdeveloped and the most advanced regions, he said.

László Varju, Deputy Head of Democratic coalition, said business interests linked to the ruling Fidesz party had grown rich at the expense of hard-working employees struggling to make ends meet. The government’s wage policy was “just a band-aid”, and changes were only possible if a European minimum wage, binding on all governments, was adopted, he said.

Jobbik Deputy chef Dániel Z. Kárpát said that despite the government’s policy of keeping Hungarian wages relatively low to make the Hungarian workforce competitive, minimum and average wages should be increased to be “closer to ‘an acceptable European average’. Police, firefighters and health workers must be better paid in the hope of retaining their services, he added.

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“The whole of Europe is suffering from rising energy prices,” said Orbán, adding that “Hungary is defending itself against this and protecting families”.

Parbeszed Deputy group leader Bence Tordai pledged to “rid the Hungarian economy of corruption” and make public procurement “transparent and fair”. This would reduce the price of services and goods purchased through this cheaper system, he insisted.

Tordai pledged to repeal the law on government strategic investment projects and review already completed projects. The opposition wants Hungary to join the European prosecutor and set up a national anti-corruption agency, he said.

An opposition government would examine politicians’ assets through a new asset reporting system designed to show “how the wealth of policymakers has grown,” Tordai said.

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The city management also plans to spend an additional 15 billion forints to give a 15% pay rise to nearly 18,000 employees of the city’s municipal enterprises.

In response, the deputy group leader of Fidesz said the opposition plans to scrap the minimum wage wholesale. In a video, László Böröcz quoted Péter Márki-Zay, the opposition alliance’s prime minister candidate, as saying there was no need for a minimum wage. The Fidesz official said Márki-Zay argued that the minimum wage had “many drawbacks”.

Böröcz said the minimum wage, however, meant that employees were not exposed to the aggressive low-wage practices of multinationals, and accused Márki-Zay of being “on the side of the multinationals” instead of Hungarian employees. “Conversely, Fidesz is on the side of the Hungarians, which is why we have raised the minimum wage to 200,000 forints (540 euros), which is three times more than it was the last time when there was had a leftist government.

Featured image: illustration via Pixabay


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