Orbán: Income tax rate could be <10 percent by 2017

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated before those assembled on the second day of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanred)/Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA) co-hosted business forum in Tokyo that Hungary’s flat-rate personal income tax can be reduced from the current 16% to a single digit within three years “hopefully.”

Orbán also stated that he would prefer a 0% personal income tax rate, but “this is currently impossible.”

Approximately 90 Japanese and 61 Hungarian businesspeople were in attendance.

Orbán reiterated his stand that “Central Europe is open to Japan” by stating this his government and those in the region “support the signing of a free-trade agreement between Japan and the European Union without delay,” while noting the “many similarities” to Hungary and Japan’s respective responses to the global financial crisis.

Keidanred chairman Yonekura Hiromasa stated that Japan has in fact “already overcome the crisis, and this has a beneficial effect on Japanese-Hungarian relations.

National Economy Minister Mihály Varga echoed Orbán’s “impossible” statement to media after the event, saying that “I would also like to see a single-digit personal income tax as soon as possible but currently cannot see the resources that would enable substituting the loss in revenues.

“After all, we want to make sure that economic performance in both 2014 and 2015 provides the conditions for a budget deficit below 3% of GDP.”

Orbán followed his appearance at the forum with a visit to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and in turn went on to meet with Takata Corporation chairman Shigehisa Takada and Suzuki Motor Corporation director Suzuki Osamu.

The PM will later make the rounds in Kyoto and will return to Budapest on Saturday evening.

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