The government is opening a 200 billion forint (EUR 580m) preferential credit line for local councils, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has said. Funding for local councils will rise by 18% next year, Gulyás said, underlining the importance of the role local councils play in Hungary’s fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic.
As regards government aid to businesses, the PM’s Office chief said the government has approved applications for its wage support scheme from 11,140 companies employing a total of 145,000 people. He said an 80 billion forint wage support scheme aimed at helping 70,000 jobseekers find work would primarily help young people starting out on their careers. Under the scheme, employers must agree to employ the beneficiaries of the allowance for another three months after its expiry, he explained.
Meanwhile, Gulyás said the government will scrap the advance tax payment obligation of businesses, adding that this would also apply to the local business tax. Tax preferences introduced for the tourism sector will remain in place for the rest of the year, he said, adding that they could be expanded in the event of another wave of the virus.
On the subject of the Trianon commemoration in Bratislava Castle attended by Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, Gulyás said the Hungarian government’s standpoint was that people who belong to nationalities living in Hungary are “good citizens if they remain good Serbs, Slovaks or Romanians, too, as they enrich the Hungarian nation.” “It’s clear the Slovak government thinks in the same way, which is a welcome development,” he said.