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Apr 04, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Gergely Gulyás: We must all chip in together to fight the effects of the coronavirus

“It has been 22 days since the emergency was declared, and the protection of human life remains paramount,” Gergely Gulyás said. “The budget provides unlimited coverage for defense against the virus; all financial resources are available,” he added.

During a Government Info press conference held this morning, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, revealed that the budget provides unlimited coverage for defense against the coronavirus and all financial resources are available.

Speaking about the details of the epidemiological financial fund which Prime Minister Viktor Orbán first introduced on Friday, Gulyás said all healthcare workers will receive an additional HUF 500,000 bonus by the end of the year. The minister added that Hungary has so far spent HUF 380 billion on virus defense measures and more funds will be redistributed to make up for losses.

“An epidemiological and economic fund will be set up,” the minister said. “The government, all political parties, banks and local governments are obliged to share the burden,” he added. In line with this principle, the government has begun the reallocation of funds totaling HUF 1,345 billion from all ministries.

Gulyás added that “party support” will be cut by 50 percent from April 15 and will go towards the epidemiological fund; taxes levied on multinational companies will generate HUF 36 billion; HUF 55 billion from the financial sector will also be paid into the fund; and motor vehicle tax will be reallocated from local governments to the public sector, which means an additional HUF 34 billion contribution. “So far, more than HUF 660 billion has been transferred into the epidemiological fund,” the minister said.

In regards to Hungary’s uncertain economic landscape, the minister said HUF 1,345 billion will be available to protect and restart the job market. “The number of unemployed increased by some 30,000; the number of vacancies has also decreased from 70,000 to 40,000; and from the beginning of April the number of unemployed citizens could increase by as much as 4,000 per day.”

The government will decide tomorrow on a new plan to restart the economy and it will be introduced by PM Orbán at some point next week.