KATA: President Approves Controversial Changes to Small Business Tax Law in Hungary

  • 19 Jul 2022 9:02 AM
  • Hungary Matters
KATA: President Approves Controversial Changes to Small Business Tax Law in Hungary
President Katalin Novák on Monday signed into law the amendments to the tax for small business owners (KATA). The legislation prompted protests in Budapest last week.

In a statement, Novák said she had found no reason to refer the law to the Constitutional Court, and “the legislator’s intent is hardly disputable”.

At the same time, “the outrage is palpable,” and many have difficulties in adapting swiftly to the new situation, she said.

“I can understand they have questions. It would have been better to decide on the amendments after substantive consultation with the interested parties,” she said.

“I have talked to the prime minister and the cabinet, and obtained a promise that the detailed regulations will provide answers to legitimate questions,” she said.

In these extraordinary times, Hungary’s security is based on budgetary stability, she said. “Cooperation, mutual responsibility and understanding will help us through the worst of it. That is the only way to stay standing,” she said.

Protesters Block Margaret Bridge

Demonstrators protesting changes to the Itemised Tax for Small Businesses (kata) and caps on household energy bills blocked Margaret Bridge in Budapest on Monday morning.

The few hundred demonstrators, most of whom arrived by bicycle or scooter wearing the shirts and backpacks of food delivery companies, first filled only the outer lanes of the bridge, before blocking the entire bridge from the Pest side near Jászai Mari Square by 8am, MTI’s correspondent reported.

Budapest police (BRFK) said on their website that traffic going onto Margaret Bridge would be diverted.

Cars that were already on the bridge before it was fully blocked by the protesters were able to turn around on the tram tracks.

The sidewalks and bicycle paths on the bridge remained accessible. Budapest police said on its website police.hu at 9am that the event announced to police in advance had ended while the demonstrators were still blocking the entire bridge. Police afterwards instructed the demonstrators to clear the tram tracks and the road.

A group of protesters meanwhile left the bridge in the direction of Nyugati Railway Station and the Oktogon junction on the Pest side.

MTI’s onsite correspondent said that groups of police officers moved onto the bridge from both ends and cleared demonstrators from the road and herded them onto the sidewalk.

They also pulled some protesters from the crowd. Budapest police said at 11am that vehicle traffic had resumed on the bridge in both directions.

They later said that “police took into custody five people who had refused to move to the sidewalk despite repeated calls to do so”.

MTI Photo: Gergely Botár

Related links

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