PM sees more utilities price cuts in autumn

Banking

Hungary's government wants to reduce household gas and electricity prices again in the autumn, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview with commercial broadcaster InfoRádió on Thursday.
    "The economy, I believe, will portray a stronger country in the second half of the year than now....If that is the case, we can cut the price of gas and electricity in September-October," Orbán said. A 9% personal income tax rate was conceivable in the long term, but stressed that Hungary was not yet strong enough for such a reduction, he added.
    "If a single-digit personal income tax is introduced in Hungary, I believe it will be a 9% rate, as long as it is implemented by a prudent, conservative government," he said. The personal income rate stands at 16% at present.
    Orbán confirmed the government's intention to introduce a tax on advertisements, saying it was time for the profitable media sector to carry their share of the public burden. He added that it would be fair to exempt smaller radio and television broadcasters from the tax. Consultations with the Hungarian Advertising Association on the tax are underway, he said. "If such arguments are made that show our way of thinking is wrong, we can still rethink everything. But our intentions are fairly clear," he added.
    Orbán said the government anticipated a "demographic" programme in July that would include targeted payroll tax reductions for families with a certain number of children. He added that changes to teachers' compensation would also be made, but reaffirmed that this would require continuous economic growth.
    He said the government's fostered workers programme would be expanded by the end of the year.

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