Hungary intends to fund its military and social safety programs by taxing banks, insurance companies, airlines, energy and telecom utilities and others, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced on Wednesday.
It’s Orban’s first action under a state of emergency that Budapest has just enacted, citing the conflict in neighboring Ukraine. The ‘Robin Hood’-style measure may also be perceived as upping the ante in a battle with the EU over frozen funding.
“We ask and we expect that those who made extra profit in this time of war help the people and contribute to the national defense budget,” Orban said in a video posted on Facebook.
In a follow-up post, Orban said that a “drastic increase in prices” was due to the ongoing conflict and the “sanctions policy in Brussels,” while “banks and large multinational companies” are reaping extra profits thanks to rising interest rates.
The Hungarian government will “require banks, insurers, major trade chains, energy and retail companies, telecommunications companies and airlines to deposit a large portion of their extra profits” into two funds it has established.