Hungarian president returns new housing bill to lawmakers

By bne IntelliNews March 24, 2016

Hungary's President Janos Ader on March 24 sent legislation on a new state housing scheme back to lawmakers, citing a lack of transparency and weak guarantees for stakeholders.

The opposition had asked the president on March 21 to block the bill, presumably hoping Ader, a long time ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, still feels in rebellious mood. The president sent a controversial bill seeking to partially close the books of the central bank to public scrutiny to the constitutional court for review on March 9.

Under the housing scheme legislation, the state would match 30% of contributions made by savers in National Building Societies, towards the purchase of a new build home. The legislation is planned to complement other measures recently introduced by the government to support the construction sector.

Ader stated on the parliament's website that he was in favour of extending the housing opportunities of families with state support, but that "implementing the task requires the establishment of a body that is transparent and provides appropriate guarantees for its members and is monitored by tight supervision".

"In my view, the law does not meet these requirements,” the president stated. The fact that members of the new building societies would not be protected by existing deposit or investment protection funds could also create uncertainty, he claimed. 

The bill may be readdressed as soon as next week by the parliament, Gergely Gulyas, head of the legislative committee told state newswire MTI.


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