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Gov't expands Start program

The government approved plans to expand the so-called Start program to assist various disadvantaged groups of society in finding employment, including mothers with young children and the long-term unemployed.

Launched in October 2005, the Start program rewards companies for hiring first-time jobseekers with tax breaks over a two-year period. Start Plusz, one of the newly added features, helps mothers on maternity benefits and those unemployed for over a year return to the workforce by reducing the 33.5% employment tax to 15% for 12 months and to 25% for an additional year.

The Start Extra program offers full exemption from employer taxes in the first year and a reduced 15% rate in the next to the employers of long-term unemployed persons with an additional disadvantage factor such as 50+ years of age, less than 8 years of schooling or living in the poorest areas of Hungary. The new type of Start cards will be available at State Tax Office (Apeh) bureaus from July. (Magyar Hírlap)