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OPPOSITION PROPOSES MEASURES FOR HANDLING CORONAVIRUS ECONOMIC FALLOUT

 

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has prepared a package of proposals for measures to help companies and individuals financially affected by the novel coronavirus epidemic. DK’s deputy chairman Csaba Molnár called on the government to waive employer taxes for ailing companies. Further, deadlines for tax payments as well as collection procedures should be postponed, he said in an online news conference. He also proposed suspending household utility and mortgage payments. Molnár insisted that the government is obliged to “fight tooth and nail” for each job and for all small and medium-sized firms, adding that all DK’s proposals have now been put in practice in other countries. Molnár also called for banning layoffs in sectors where activities have been restricted, and he proposed setting up a fund for covering the expenses of impacted businesses. As a first step, employers should be let off labour-related contribution payments in March and April, Molnár said, adding that the measure should be extended if necessary. DK also wants VAT and business tax payments due in March and April to be postponed until at least the autumn. Molnár said that his party’s proposals could be financed through re-allocations from a total 150 billion forints (EUR 450m) budgeted for state communications in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Socialist Party said foreclosures of property for people who default on their mortgages should be suspended. The Socialists propose a payment of pension premiums and a pension increase with retroactive effect, Lajos Korózs told a press conference. Home care services and social support should be strengthened and in-person cheque payments at the post office should also be suspended, he said. Socialist deputy leader László Szakács said that mortgage foreclosures should be suspended because courts have been closed and therefore mortgage holders would be unable to seek legal remedy.