Kosa defends flat tax, cbank salary cap, judges’ retirement – TV

Budapest, January 27 (MTI) – The Hungarian government is not likely to change the rate of its controversial flat-tax on pressure from international organisations, Lajos Kosa, a ruling Fidesz party deputy leader, told commercial TV2 on Friday.

Kosa said “there was good reason” the flat-rate was set at 16 percent.


He added that the European Union was rather “picky” about several issues, which is difficult to understand.


The European Commission’s objection of a salary cap for central bank governor Andras Simor was one of these issues, Kosa said.


“If we introduce a general rule from prime minister to receptionist about salaries capped at two million forints (EUR 6,800) a month, on what grounds should we make an exception [for Simor]?” Kosa said. He dismissed claims that introducing a salary cap that affects Simor was a way of exerting pressure on the central bank, and said that such a limitation did not constitute “existential pressure” in the case of Simor who is widely known to be a wealthy man.


On the other contentious issue, the retirement of judges at the age of 62, Kosa said that again the general rule was that the retirement age is 62 in the country, but judges were exempted from this earlier.


“The government is not changing the retirement age, it is saying that the general rule applies to everyone,” Kosa said.


The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against Hungary concerning central bank independence, the mandatory retirement age for judges and the independence of the data protection authority.

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