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Competitiveness Council weighs MKIKʼs proposals

Conferences

(Photo: MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry)

The National Competitiveness Council discussed proposals on strengthening competitiveness and improving foreign language instruction at a meeting on Tuesday, Minister of Finance Mihály Varga, who also sits on the Council, said at a press conference.   

Minister of Finance Mihály Varga, pictured at an earlier press briefing (photo: MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry).

The proposals were made by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), Varga was cited as saying by state news agency MTI. The Council will discuss two more proposals by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the National Bank of Hungary (MNB), before consolidating them in its own recommendation to be submitted to the government after July 10, he added.

MKIK Chairman László Parragh, another member of the Council, said the chamberʼs experts had drawn up the proposals at the request of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The proposals are based on a survey of about 1,600 businesses and include the observations of Hungaryʼs professional chambers, he added.

Disciplined and well thought-out economic policy, well-functioning economic subsystems, the efficient development of the state, tight fiscal policy, a shrinking tax wedge, improved productivity, trained labor, and constant adaptation to a changing global economy are all necessary for achieving sustainable growth, Parragh observed.

The chairman added that Hungaryʼs system for non-wage compensation needs simplifying as it contains almost a dozen elements, responding to a question about a government proposal to limit such compensation to the SZÉP voucher cards. The varying caps on non-wage compensation in the public and private sectors, as well as the fact that small companies hardly use such compensation, creates a competitive disadvantage, he noted.

The governmentʼs aim with the proposal is to maintain the level of non-wage compensation on which employers enjoy tax preferences and to prevent any increase in the burden for employees, Varga said.

The National Competitiveness Council, which held its inaugural meeting in spring of last year, is comprised of business leaders and experts and was established to make recommendations to the government to improve Hungaryʼs competitiveness.

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