András Tállai, State Secretary for Parliamentary Affairs at the Ministry of Finance, reported that the government had already introduced a number of concessions in the first month of the emergency. Meanwhile, government measures put in place on November 11 could be a relief not only for economic operators but also for families, he added.
The first measure, immediate wage subsidies and tax assistance, has protected more than 170,000 jobs in hospitality and leisure and nearly 30,000 jobs in accommodation, despite the closures, the secretary of state recalled.
The emergency wage subsidy program covers 50 percent of gross wages. The benefit can be fully claimed up to a gross salary of HUF 483,000 and up to one and a half times the minimum wage; it can even be used for part-time employees. Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors were also exempted from paying employer taxes in November. According to the calculations of the Ministry of Finance, the tax relief affects almost 15,000 companies, which now do not have to pay a total of HUF 5 billion in taxes, he said.
Accommodation providers will be further helped by the government during the curfew by compensating for 80 percent of their loss of revenue, calculated on the basis of advance bookings. According to the data of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, 928,000 guest nights were recorded for November, which means a net subsidy of almost HUF 15 billion for more than 11,000 accommodations, Tállai noted.
One condition for receiving this support is that employees are not laid off and their salaries are paid during this period, the secretary added.
A reduced VAT on food deliveries to 5 percent from the previous 27 percent during the transitional period of restaurant closures was also introduced, the secretary of state continued, adding that the government has also extended the validity of expiring identity documents. Certificates expiring after November 4 will remain usable for 60 days after the end of the current emergency.
Families participating in digital education are being helped by the government as well via free internet access during the emergency.