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Hungary passes tax, pension changes in first vote

  Hungary’s parliament passed key amendments to tax and pension laws on Monday in a preliminary vote, seen as the first test of the new Socialist minority government which took office last month.

The measures, which include a hike in the main value added tax rate to 25% from 20% from July and pension cuts, were passed with a safe majority of votes and are essential for keeping a grip over the budget deficit this year. “The government’s proposals have all been passed,” a parliament press official told Reuters. The final vote will be held later this month. (Reuters)