HUNGARY - Hungarian poultry processors have called on the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to lower the country’s value-added tax (VAT) on poultry meat following the cabinet’s move to decrease the VAT on pork meat from 27 per cent to 5 per cent starting January 1, 2016.
Attila Csorbai, who serves as the president of local industry association Poultry Products Council (BTT), told local business daily Világgazdaság that the reduced tax rate on pork meat is discriminatory with regards to other meat industry sectors, and said that the measure’s negative impact is already felt by the country's poultry processors.
The tax rate for poultry meat in Hungary remains unchanged at 27 per cent.
According to Mr Csorbai, the Hungarian poultry processing industry is expecting the government to reduce the VAT on poultry meat. The industry’s head said that he is planning to discuss this with Hungary’s State Secretary for Agriculture György Czerván.
Mr Csorbai said that the industry association was in the process of analysing the latest market data to formulate relevant policy proposals, but it was already clear that the reduced VAT on pork meat has exerted a negative impact on Hungary's poultry meat sales.
The latest measure is part of the government's strategy to support the country’s pig breeding and pork meat processing businesses.
In 2014, the cabinet unveiled its flagship HUF 1.6 billion (€5.1 million) state-funded programme which is designed to double the number of hogs in Hungary from the current 3 million to 6 million head by 2020.
Poultry dominates the country’s meat sales, with Hungarians consuming 32 kg per capita annually, compared with 28 kg of pork, as shown by data released by the BTT.
Meanwhile, other Hungarian organisations which have protested against the reduced VAT rate include the industry associations which represent the interests of the country’s dairy and fish processing sectors.