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Hungary’s opposition parliamentary parties said they will submit joint amendment proposals to the 2021 budget bill. The proposals call for wage hikes in the health-care sector, lower taxes for local councils and higher pensions, among other changes. Addressing a joint press conference, the leftist Democratic Coalition’s László Varju, the head of parliament’s budget committee, called for an immediate 50% wage hike for health-care workers. Anita Kőrösi Potocska of conservative Jobbik called on the government to scrap the so-called solidarity contribution local councils are expected to pay into the central budget. The Socialist Party’s Attila Mesterházy said the opposition wants the minimum pension to be raised to 80,000 forints (EUR 230) from the current 28,500. Antal Csárdi of green LMP said that under the opposition’s proposals, local councils would get to keep their revenues from vehicle taxes rather than having to pay them into the central budget as they do under the government’s coronavirus response scheme. Párbeszéd lawmaker Sándor Burány said the period of eligibility for unemployment benefits should be extended from three months to nine.
István Hollik, Fidesz’s director of communications, said in reaction that “the left” was criticising a budget that would help families with children, respect pensioners by reintroducing the 13th month pension and protect jobs alongside creating new ones. By contrast, the opposition, when in power in 2009 “managed a crisis by plunging the country into debt, continuously raising taxes, reducing family benefits and gutting entrepreneurs and the entire public,” he added.