SURVEY – Most Hungarians see flat tax as unjust – paper

Budapest, February 25 (MTI) – Nearly 75 percent of Hungarians would prefer a progressive income tax system to the 16 percent flat-tax regime just introduced at the start of the year, the daily Nepszabadsag reported on Friday, citing fresh data from pollster Median.

The majority of those polled believe that the new rules will widen the gap between rich and poor, the survey taken by Median between February 11 and 15, said.

    People reported the view that less than one-fifth of taxpayers would benefit from the new tax system, the survey said, adding that dissatisfaction was likely to reflect in governing parties’ ratings.

    A majority of respondents, 52 percent, said the government should support the poor, which is about the same result as ten years ago. However, 42 percent believed support should only be extended to those who have earned it by their work and social conduct.

    Compared to opinion polls ten years ago, responses to a progressive tax system — where tax rates are higher with higher income — have become more favourable, with 73 percent preferring this system, compared with 54 percent in 2001. The proportion of those who prefer the flat-tax regime dropped from 44 percent to 25 percent over the past ten years, the survey said.

    Just a quarter of respondents felt the new system was more efficient or that it would boost the number of children born in the country.

    Fully 65 percent of the whole sample said the rich/poor gap would widen, an opinion shared by every second respondent even among governing party supporters.

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