Briefing notes

Crisis fund may come to tourism sector in Budapest

The Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKIK) is urging the establishment of a HUF 50 billion Budapest Crisis Management Fund to support tourism companies.

BKIK has suggested that the majority of the fund be financed by Budapest and its districts, 45 percent each. The government could contribute the remaining HUF 5 billion, as well as offer tax exemptions and preferential investment loans.

Meanwhile, BKIK would contribute HUF 75 million. The chamber’s package of proposals includes wage subsidies, spending cuts, consumption incentives, renovation subsidies and retraining programs.

Elek Nagy, the president of BKIK, stated that Budapest’s tourism businesses are being hit much harder than in other parts of the country, and in many cases, they have already been fatally affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

If we don’t come together, tens of thousands of workers will be laid off and massive business closures will occur in the near future, he added.

With the crisis management fund of the BKIK, the total collapse of the capital’s tourism and economic infrastructure could be stopped in the short to medium term, he explained.

According to the BKIK’s proposal, the largest amount, some HUF 30 billion, should be spent on wage subsidies for companies in a temporary crisis. For six months, 50,000 tourist workers in Budapest must be provided with a monthly salary subsidy of HUF 100,000. The government should make it possible for the affected employees to receive an additional HUF 100,000 per month free of charge and for their healthcare to be covered by the state.

As part of the municipal cost-cutting measures, temporary rent reductions are considered necessary as well, along with a reduction in fees for the use of public space. 

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