No escape!

In his Budapest press conference, Jobbik’s president Gábor Vona outlined another aspect of his party’s future government for the people: after winning the 2018 elections, the largest opposition party is to impose an “oligarch tax” on business magnates who quickly acquired huge wealth through dubious political connections. Mr Vona expressed his view that Jobbik was the only party able to “cut off all the tentacles of the Fidesz octopus”.

Explaining the concept, he said that Jobbik was going to impose the “oligarch tax” on magnates who had “amassed giga-fortunes” with political help from the previous governments. Comparing this draft legislation to the bank and multinational-company tax adopted by the Parliament under pressure from Jobbik (and which the party plans to retain after getting into government), Mr Vona said such a law was essential to ensure a more equitable burden sharing.

“After surviving the government of foreign-controlled Socialist viceroys, we now witness and suffer Fidesz’ oligarchic governance. Orbán Viktor and his football friends must be guided back to the path of fair contribution to social costs,” Mr Vona asserted. He added that the “oligarch tax” would be imposed progressively on fortunes accumulated since 2002 with over 300-million-HUF growth per year. The special tax would remain valid as long as it is justified in terms of fair taxation.

The collected money will be invested into what it originally was intended for

The president of the largest opposition party claimed that the (probably significant) income from the special tax will be allocated to improve Hungary’s competitiveness, education and healthcare as well as to fund the development of small and medium enterprises that had so far been ignored by politically motivated decision makers.

Photo: Balázs Béli/Alfahír

He emphasized that honest companies had nothing to fear: the legislation targets businessmen “who feathered their own nest enjoying a political tailwind”.

You can't hide from justice

Mr Vona also warned the “oligarchs” in question: “There will be no escape, no matter how you try to split up your assets, transfer them to offshore companies or foreign accounts, we will track down all of you!” He added that they were ready to uncover and tax these monies, either through cooperation with foreign law enforcement agencies or with the help of the Hungarian police and prosecution service or perhaps by way of the anti-corruption prosecution office to be established in the future. “We will cut off all the tentacles of the Fidesz octopus" Vona told.

The party president emphasized that the “oligarch tax” would just be the first strike at the “oligarchic government”: where justified, illegally acquired monies would be confiscated from these magnates through criminal law. “The oligarchs who are now on a special financial weight gain diet will be put on a taxation weight loss diet,” Mr Vona asserted. Addressing media concerns on the retrospective effect of the “oligarch tax”, he said the concept was in line with the society’s demand for justice so the legal debate was worth entering into.

Jobbik is the only party realistically expected to hold politicians and businessmen accountable

In response to questions from the media, Jobbik’s president explained the difference between his party’s proposal and the Socialist idea of the luxury tax.

Photo: Balázs Béli/Alfahír

Talking about the Socialist Party’s proposal, Mr Vona called it unprofessional, hypocritical and powerless because, in his opinion, it is:

– unprofessional, as “the party of former Communist attic sweepers” (a reference to the 1950s when the Communist government collected all the crops from farmers and even swept their attics for the last remaining grains, leaving them on the brink of starvation) cannot make a difference between honest and dishonest wealth gains while Jobbik would only penalize dishonest enrichment,

– hypocritical, as the Socialist Party failed to address this issue when they were in government. Furthermore, they left the average citizen behind while the foreign-controlled viceroys amassed their fortunes,

– powerless, because the Socialist Party has no chance to win the elections.


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