As László Botka outlines his tax plans, a pro-government commentator accuses the MSZP of trying to weaken middle class families. An alt-left blogger welcomes the plans, hoping that taxing wealthier Hungarians would reduce inequality.
In a speech last week, László Botka, the MSZP candidate for PM in the 2018 Parliamentary election put forward a tax reform scheme to help the very poor. Mr Botka said that he wanted to make the minimum wage tax-exempt, while increasing the taxes paid by wealthier Hungarians. He also declared his intention to impose a luxury tax on wealth exceeding 30 million Forints. In Botka’s calculation, the luxury tax would yield 300 billion Forints that the government would spend on helping poor families. Mihály Varga, the Minister of National Ecomony criticized the proposal, describing it as a plan to increase the taxes paid by Hungarian families. Referring to the idea of a wealth tax, former PM Gyurcsány said he paid more taxes last year than Mr Botka would during a lifetime – but added that he also favoured a progressive income tax- scheme.
In Magyar Idők, Anna Kulcsár contends that the tax hikes outlined by Mr Botka would harm middle class families. The pro-government columnist recalls that the MSZP tried to tax real estate wealth in 2009, but bumped into legal hurdles. Kulcsár believes that Botka’s luxury tax proposal is devised to buy the votes of poor Hungarians.
In Kettős Mérce, Attila Kálmán finds Mr Botka’s proposal reasonable and fair. The left-wing blogger thinks that wealthier Hungarians could contribute more without harming Hungary’s competitiveness. Kálmán also approves the idea of progressive income taxes as a means of reducing inequality.