The government will submit the 2016 budget bill to parliament next week, cabinet chief János Lázár said. Lawmakers could approve the budget by the end of June, he said at the regular government press conference. Under an earlier agreement with The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the government will start phasing out the banking tax in 2016, Lázár noted, adding that the government trusts lending would increase as a result. Under another proposal, Hungary’s general practitioners would be exempted from paying the local business tax from 2016, Lázár said. Further, health contributions paid by tobacco companies will be retained next year, targeting revenues of 11.5 billion forints (EUR 38 million).
A bill seeking to increase the transparency of public procurements will also be submitted in mid-May. Under the law planned to come into effect on November 1, tenders with the lowest bids would not necessarily be awarded the highest points; rather potential for job creation and economic development would become important criteria, too, he said. The government aims to help small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to better positions in connection with procurements, Lázár said.