Hungary’s economy has suffered from the corona crisis but chances are good that it will be among Europe’s most stable, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office said.
This year’s projected economic recession could be offset next year by a jump in growth, Gergely Gulyás told a regular press conference. Progress has been made in protecting jobs, with the government offering support for the labour market and training with the aim of protecting over 1.14 million jobs, he said. A total of 175,000 registered job-seekers have received financial support, the support schemes have protected 302,000 jobs, 62,000 people have applied for IT training and 12,000 applied for loans under the arrangements of a scheme dubbed “student loan plus”, Gulyás said.
He said that investment incentive programmes have supported the creation of 73,800 jobs and the number of people in fostered work schemes is 88,000 which could increase to 200,000. Gulyás called it “good news” that there were only 7,000 new fostered workers.
He noted that parliament decided to reduce taxes. The social contribution tax will be cut from 17.5% to 15.5% effective July 1, the simplified contribution to public revenues (EKHO) will also drop to 15.5% and the small business tax will fall from 12% to 11%, he said. The government has decided to allow companies to spend their turnover tax-free on investment projects in Hungary within four years if it does not exceed 10 billion forints (EUR 28.9m), he added.
Gulyás noted that the cabinet had recently decided to hold a public survey dubbed “national consultation” on the novel coronavirus epidemic and restarting the economy. He said “national cooperation” was the basis of “successful protection” and it was important canvass opinion of citizens, he added. The cabinet has also decided, after consultations with the Hungarian Academy of Arts, to offer a 5.1 billion forint support package in the cultural sector, aiming to alleviate the damage caused by the epidemic. It has also decided to support plans for a “museum of Hungarian freedom” on Gellért Hill in Budapest connected to the 100th anniversary of the Trianon Peace Treaty. Gulyás noted that Hungary was forced to sign the treaty a hundred years ago, resulting in the forced succession of two-thirds of its territory and every third Hungarian living beyond the borders. June 4 was declared a Day of National Cohesion ten years ago when the government introduced the opportunity for acquiring Hungarian citizenship in a fast-track procedure and since then, nearly 1.1 million ethnic Hungarians have used this opportunity, he said.