- 25 Apr 2016 9:00 AM
Furthermore, Hungary has managed to fully pay back the IMF-EU loan it took up in 2008 when the financial crisis hit, he said. Orbán also noted that the government is cutting taxes and raising the value of pensions. Citing EU statistical data, he said the number of Hungarians living in poverty declined by 600,000 in 2013- 2014. He said next year’s budget will be characterised by tax cuts and helping people get a home.
“There is also room for making progress in health care and education,” he added. Wages for doctors and nurses must be increased as part of a comprehensive package “as part of decisions over 3-4 years to close the wage gap”, he said.
The difference between doctors’ wages in the West and in Hungary should be reduced, but western wages cannot be introduced within a year or two, he said, adding that a chance for an agreement in ongoing talks between representatives of the government and health-care workers was on the cards. He also said that during a visit in Germany earlier this week he met heads of Mercedes and Deutsche Telekom.
Hungary signed an agreement with Telekom on ensuring broadband internet access for all corporations and households by 2018. In this respect, “we want to be the first in Europe, beating even Germany”, he added. Hungary’s government wants to continue reducing the internet VAT rate, he said.
“We’ve started reducing the internet VAT rate and we want to continue this in the coming years, too,” Orbán added. The government recently announced plans to reduce the VAT rate on internet service from 27% to 18% from next year. Subscribers are expected to save 13 billion-15 billion forints.
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