Hungary’s Socialists To Scrap Government’s “Idiotic” Economic Policy

  • 19 Dec 2013 8:00 AM
Hungary’s Socialists To Scrap Government’s “Idiotic” Economic Policy
Attila Mesterházy, leader of the opposition Socialist Party, pledged to scrap what he called the Fidesz government’s “idiotic” economic policy and “perverted” social policy if it wins next year’s election.

Policies that support the construction of sport stadiums instead of fighting child poverty must go, Mesterházy said, introducing the candidates of the Socialists and E14-PM in Pest County. He said that the Socialists plan to restore the progressive tax system, but declined to specify tax rates.

The Socialists also plan to discontinue crisis taxes but not the banking tax. However, he said, this cannot be done overnight because these taxes amount to 720 billion forints (EUR 2.4m) of state revenues and this cannot be substituted from one year to the next.

Once certain conditions are met, the Socialists plan to reduce the banking tax, he said. Mesterházy insisted that the 2014 budget would be sustainable for a few months only and the next government would have to adjust it to the pervading realities.

Mesterházy said the current scheme to cut utility bills is not sustainable and in some towns and villages the service companies have already gone bankrupt. The Socialists plan a fairer system based on means-testing so that the poor can receive more help.

Public utility fees can be reduced in a sustainable way in the long term, for instance by installing modernised heating systems and insulation. There are also plans to cut the price of basic foodstuffs, he added.

Fidesz said in a statement in reaction to Mesterházy’s press conference that the left wing wanted to hike taxes and abolish the scheme to cut household utility bills.


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