Tibor Navracsics, the regional development minister, said that the fact that Hungary will adopt the global minimum tax does not mean that taxes will increase. As part of a deal with Brussels, an existing business tax would be seen as part of the general tax burden, so in Hungary’s case the corporate tax would not have to increase. Gergely Gulyás added that the European Council put it in writing that the adoption of the global minimum tax would not force Hungary to raise taxes in addition to the current tax system, and the business tax could be incorporated.
According to MTI, Navracsics said the government had relaxed its previous objections to the global minimum tax when it became clear that the tax, which would have been harmful to Hungary in terms of increasing the tax burden and denting its competitiveness, would not result in a tax increase in the country. The global minimum tax in Hungary will affect several large companies which will have an additional tax payment obligation, but the system is being cleverly structured, Gulyás said. Meanwhile, on the subject of the EU loan to Ukraine, Gulyás said Hungary’s standpoint was that there should be no further joint borrowing, “and we succeeded in finding a solution which doesn’t oblige us to borrow further”. Hungary wanted Ukraine to have bilateral arrangements, but Ukraine preferred the simplicity of getting the funding all in one go, he said, adding that the EU found a satisfactory solution by setting aside 18 billion euros of support within the EU budget. Regarding dissatisfaction in the teaching profession, Gulyás said that as soon as EU funds are unlocked, the government will be able to increase the salaries of teachers. If operational funding is released on Jan. 1, then a pay increase will be implemented immediately, but this depended on whether the Commission would demand additional conditions. He added: “However large the European Parliament’s corruption scandal is, the Commission is afraid” of the EP, even though it was clear that the left wing in the EP had come under serious external influence and was embroiled in corruption scandal. Asked about funding originating in the US to support independent media and civil organisations in central Europe, Gulyás said sovereignty must be respected, and the government of another democratic country and the question of who sits in its parliament should not be determined in Washington, Berlin or Moscow. Asked about Hungary’s ratification of Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership, Gulyás said that on Feb. 20, the first day of parliament’s spring session, the chamber will consider the question as part of its normal schedule, and the government would not be able to address it by decree using its emergency powers.