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Parliament should approve key figures of 2013 budget, tax laws before summer recess, PM suggests

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has asked the parliamentary group of the governing Fidesz-KDNP alliance to approve the key figures of the government's 2013 budget and the tax laws before the summer recess, Orbán told journalists on Wednesday after a meeting of the parliamentary group.

Orbán said the MPs supported his proposal.

Orbán also said he will support a proposal of the Fidesz parliamentary group that the 98% special tax on severance pay above HUF 3.5 million -- and above HUF 2 million for high-ranking state and local officials -- should be maintained. The Széll Kálmán Plan 2.0, published at the end of April, was to abolish the tax.

Speaking of the financial transactions duty, to be introduced from 2013 also as part of the Széll Kálmán Plan 2.0, the prime minister said the duty will be paid by the banks, and not by the people.

Asked by a journalist whether it will be possible to stop banks from passing the tax on to consumers, he said "it was possible in the case of the bank levy".

In proposed amendments published on the government portal site, 30% of the part cancelled from mortgage-backed foreign currency-denominated loans is to be deducted from the special bank levy.

Currently, the special bank levy is reduced by the same percentage under the rubric of a write-off.

According to the amendment, the base for the special bank levy is to be reduced by the banks' stock of SME loans as follows: 95% of the stock of loans as of September 30, 2011 must be compared with the stock of loans as of September 30, 2012, and the bank levy is to be reduced by the difference. The bank levy is also to be reduced - in a similar manner - by loans provided to cover the upfront part for EU funding tenders.