A planned duty on financial transactions can “probably not” be extended to the National Bank of Hungary, but the revenue base for the government’s workplace protection plan will remain stable although just 70-80pc of actors in the financial system will pay the duty, National Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy told a parliamentary committee on Monday.
Mr Matolcsy said negotiations were underway on whom the financial transactions duty would be levied. He added that the government would seek acceptance of the workplace protection plan from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union too.
The government said earlier that resources for the workplace protection plan, which will launch at the beginning of next year, are expected to come from the financial transactions duty.
Mr Matolcsy said it was “no secret” that there was a debate with the Fiscal Council, the NBH, the IMF and the EU on how Hungary could keep its fiscal deficit under 3pc of GDP next year.
Mr Matolcsy told the committee the government aims to raise the number of tax-paying jobs in Hungary by 1.5m to more than 5m by 2020. He added that the government wants to see at least 300,000-400,000 participants in the state’s public work programme next year and to raise this number from year to year.
Mr Matolcsy said significant decision on foreign investments in Hungary could be taken in the next 6-18 months, thanks in part to the country’s opening up to the East. He said Chinese investments “would surprise” and focus on disadvantaged areas in the northeast of the country.
He said talks would start in the coming weeks on next year’s minimum wage in the relevant forums.