Reuters reports that the prime minister of Hungary Viktor Orban has suggested that the government may lighten the level of so-called ‘special taxes’ placed on the nation’s telecoms industry, in order to drive inward investment and boost wider economic growth. Orban’s administration has stabilised the national budget via a series of measures, including special taxes on its banking institutions, energy providers and telecoms operators. However, the moves drew widespread criticism from abroad, even though it has successfully removed itself from the European Union (EU) list of countries failing to stay within pre-agreed fiscal parameters. Earlier this week the European Commission (EC) confirmed its forecast that the Magyar deficit would remain within its limit of 3% of GDP in both 2013 and 2014 – the next election year. Hungary has drafted a HUF57 billion (USD260 million) budget for next year in special taxes from the telecoms industry, along with HUF53 billion in additional taxation on communications and public utility providers.
Whilst stopping short of setting a date for cutting the telecoms tax burden, the prime minister has said: ‘We have discussed this issue today and agreed that of course we readily accept any proposal that contributes to the growth of the Hungarian economy and generates more tax revenue, because we will be able to reduce the burdens specific to this sector proportionately.’