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Businesses, unions welcome new points of gov't economic plan

Businesses and unions welcomed some of the new points of the government's second economic action plan revealed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a speech before Parliament on Monday.

As well as outlining measures announced earlier, such as the introduction of a flat-rate personal income tax, Orbán said the government would put state-owned railway company MÁV and the Volán bus companies into a holding company, lower the social contribution rate for part-time women workers from 27% to 20%, reduce bureaucracy, give farmers more access to credit and introduce a vocational training system based on the German model.

Péter Pataky, head of the National Association of Unions (MSzOSz,) said putting MÁV and the Volán companies into a holding company was one of the rational elements of the action plan. But the government has to make clear whether plans to lower the social contribution rates for part-time women workers will affect their pensions or other benefits, he added.

Concrete measures to cut costs and reduce bureaucracy show the government's good intentions, said György Szűcs, head of IPOSz, an association that represents small businesses.

Orbán told Parliament on Monday that the government would eliminate a number of bureaucratic hurdles for businesses and cut back 5% on state administration spending.

György Vadász of industrialists association OKISZ said measures reducing administration as well as concrete steps in the tax system were what businesses were waiting for and were in line with election promises.

László Parragh, who heads the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), said the chamber welcomed the decision to introduce a new vocational training model from September 2011.

Introducing the dual system will raise the number of practical hours in certain areas of vocational training, better tailoring the education system to the needs of the market, said Tamás Bihall, MKIK's deputy head in charge of education and training.

István Jakab, who heads farm association Magosz, welcomed the government's plan to expand working capital credit in the agriculture sector. (MTI-Econews)