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Hungary to overhaul voucher scheme

Hungary's National Economy Ministry is working to overhaul the country's voucher system and expects to submit a proposal on the changes to the government in the autumn, state secretary Kristóf Szatmáry said on Wednesday.

Many Hungarians receive vouchers for things such as food, travel and entertainment, as non-wage compensation from their employers. Employers pay a preferential payroll tax on the vouchers.

Szatmáry was speaking at the inauguration of the first Széchenyi Pihenőkártya (SzÉP), a new voucher that can be topped up and used at hotels, restaurants and theatres, issued by OTP Bank, Hungary's biggest commercial bank. The voucher is intended to replace several existing vouchers.

The SzÉP card is expected to be used by about 100,000 people, based on interest thus far, Szatmáry said.