Hungary to convert part of voucher system to cash

Retail

The Hungarian government has asked National Economy Minister Mihály Varga how the conversion of a part of the country’s voucher system into cash could be implemented, Cabinet Chief János Lázár said yesterday. The decision comes after the European Court of Justice ruled that the system is in violation of EU tenets.

(Photo: LaMography/Moni Lazar)

According to the plan, HUF 100,000 of the HUF 450,000 annual limit on vouchers that enjoy a payroll tax preference in the private sector would be converted into cash, Lázár said, adding that the remainder would be put on the national voucher card, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. In the public sector, HUF 100,000 would be converted into cash and HUF 100,000 put on the national SZEP voucher card, MTI cited Lázár. 

The European Court of Justice ruled on February 23 that elements of the SZÉP leisure card and Erzsébet food-voucher systems, which enable Hungarian employers to offer their employees reduced tax benefits as part of Hungary’s unified voucher system, conflict with EU law.

On March 10, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the government would scrap its unified voucher system, adding that instead of vouchers, employers could reward their employees with cash, eliminating the “veiled” system of double remuneration.

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