Parliament approves revenue-raising measures
Parliament on Thursday approved a bill that raises the mining royalty, levies a health contribution on earned interest, raises the telecommunications tax, increases the rate of the financial transactions duty and requires banks to pay a one-off supplement to make up for a shortfall in revenue from the duty.
Most of the measures were announced by National Economy Minister Mihály Varga on June 17. The steps are intended to keep Hungary's general government deficit under the 3%-of-GDP European Union threshold, preventing the launch of another excessive deficit procedure against the country. Parliament approved an amendment to the 2013 budget that will make available cheap, government-guaranteed loans to SMEs in the road haulage industry. The loans can be used to pay a per-kilometer electronic toll that will be introduced on July 1. The amendment also paves the way for the state to take over the rest of local councils' debt by the end of the year, but only if lenders pay 7% on the amount to the central budget.
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