Hungary: PM Orbán announces new economic stimulus, says doctors’ wage rise would cost €557 million

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Hungary will implement new economic stimulus measures such as tax cuts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Wednesday in an interview with news channel HírTV.

“[At the cabinet meeting], Katalin Novák, minister without portfolio for families, has presented the pillars of a new home-building program, of which the five percent VAT has been adopted, so until Dec. 30, 2022, VAT on housing construction will again be five percent,” Orbán said.

The conservative government reduced the general VAT tariff of 27 percent to five percent on new home constructions in 2016, but it was phased out at the end of 2019.

Orbán also shared on his Facebook page the segment of the video announcing housing construction VAT reduction.

Answering questions about the current state of the coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, Orbán said that the second wave will be “longer and more difficult” than the first one was, pointing out that the government’s current priority was to ensure hospital and ICU capacities, including the relocation of medical personnel as needed. He added, however, that while the action plan for that was in place, so far it was not needed.

“The current situation does not justify the inclusion of new hospitals in epidemiological care, so there is no need to postpone surgeries,” Orbán said, adding that he did not expect the situation to require such reallocation of resources in the next three weeks.

Asked about possible further restrictions, Orbán said that “there will be no restrictions affecting everyday life, as a recent national consultation clearly indicated that the majority of Hungarians were in favor of ‘keeping the country running’.”

“In the spring, we managed to mount an effective defense, we gained experience, and this gave confidence to both the government and the population, and hopefully to those working in the hospital that if we unite again, we would be able to defend ourselves while the country remains operational,” Orbán said.

Speaking about the doubling of doctors’ wages he announced on Sunday, Orbán said that it will cost the budget 200 billion forints (€557 million), but “the funds are available”.

Title image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announcing new economic stimulus measures on Oct. 7, 2020. (source:

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