- 2 Jan 2013 8:02 AM
The European Commission has officially requested that Hungary amend its legislation on the special taxes applied to the retail and the telecommunication sectors within two months or, failing to comply, the case will be referred to the European Union Court of Justice.
The Government Spokesperson added that from 1 January 2013 the extra taxes in question will be abolished and the tax system will settle into a transparent, continuous structure that is sustainable in the long-term, adding that the new public utility taxes will also be part of it.
The Spokesperson underlined that “Hungary will respect all EU initiatives that stem from European law”, but also raised the issue of national sovereignty, regarding the Commission’s request to lift restrictions on the Cafeteria voucher system. He stated that when the Government introduced the Erzsébet voucher system, it was not to restrict competition, but to serve a social purpose.
Previously only French companies operating on market economy principles were providing these types of vouchers, while the current system is state-owned and based on social principles.
The Erzsébet Programme is an innovative European approach to the goal of social solidarity. Its essence is that the revenue derived from the distribution Erzsébet vouchers is used by the state solely for the purposes of social holiday schemes, offering disadvantaged groups the chance of going on holiday. This year more than 14 thousand disadvantaged children and 75 thousand disadvantaged individuals were the beneficiaries of the programme.