Hungary sends EU new austerity plan

Proposed new taxes on phone calls, Internet usage and financial transactions

Hungary sent its latest austerity plan to Brussels. The plan submitted on Monday includes significant tax hikes, including a new phone tax and another on financial transactions, as well as cuts in public spending, including health and transportation.

With the measures the state should raise some 155 billion forints (518.6 million euros, $681.6 million) this year, and 600 billion forints in 2013, bringing down the public deficit to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2012 and 2.2 percent next year.

Hungary, which is seeking a funding deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, needs to prove to the EU that it can keep its deficit below the EU’s ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product both this year and next.