Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has told the annual opening meeting of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the government “resisted the temptation to revert to a subsidy-based economy.”

The prime minister noted that coronavirus-related restrictions in Hungary were based on the results of a National Consultation survey, ensuring a “stable” system based joint efforts made together with the general public. While crisis management in western Europe consisted of alternating periods of restrictions and easing measures, “which could cost hundreds of lives,” the Hungarian system has been in place since November, he said.

“A new economic era will be ushered in by the wide-spread use of the vaccine,” the prime minister said, adding that the provenance of the vaccine was not a political issue. After the results of the survey are available, he said decisions would be made from March to early April, which is Easter time,” PM Orbán said. “If we’re disciplined and adhere to the regulations, our lives may be freer from then on,” he said.

PM Orbán said the action plan to relaunch the economy would have three phases. The first already began on Jan. 1, he said, and would conclude on April 1, with VAT on new home constructions slashed to 5 percent, a HUF 6 million loan for home renovations half of which is non-refundable, and the phasing in of the 13th month pension.

The government has also decided to exempt people below the age of 25 from paying a personal income tax. The aim of the home construction program is for 40,000 homes to be built each year, he said.

The second phase will take place from April 1 to July 1, focusing on higher education. Finance Minister Mihály Varga has allocated HUF 1,500 billion for developments, PM Orbán said, adding that “hopefully, that can go up to 2,000 billion.” Universities that indicate their intention to take part in the transformation will have enough time to take that step by April 1, he said.

The third phase between July and October will be a period of “big developments” focusing on green energy, developing a circular economy and full digitalization.