Ninth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Hirschluch, Germany 2002

Hungary Country Report

  1. Does a specific Peace Tax law proposal exist in your country?

    No. It is not composed yet. Only principles are outlined.

  2. What would be the name of the proposed law?

    Nonviolent Defence Act

  3. Please give a brief outline or summary of it:

    It concerns not only certain kinds of tax, since we are responsible for all our contributions. Each voter (as a shareholder in State Inc.) could declare whether he wants to put his portion of defence expenditure in the Military Fund or the Nonviolent Defence Fund. All military and other violence-related state expenditures could only be financed from the Military Fund, and all nonviolent defence-related state expenditures could only be financed from the Nonviolent Defence Fund. Parliament + government would define the total sum for (violent and nonviolent) defence. The quotient of this sum divided by the number of voters (a fixed sum, equal for everybody) would be allocated by each voter to one of the funds. This solution eliminates the counter argument: the calculation of individual tax portions being impossible or at least far too costly. A new ministry would be introduced: the nonviolent defence ministry, totally independent and equal in rank to the ministry of military defence. (The general public would be more and more persuaded by their practical success: feeling more secure, change of attitudes of the general public and common thinking home and abroad.) The way to declare that someone wants his portion go to the nonviolent defence fund should be easy (maybe by a tick in one of two cells on the annual state tax confession form) and maybe the portions of those who did not declare which fund they choose should be divided between the funds in the choice quotient of those who did choose one of the funds (there should be no default fund). The goal of the Nonviolent Defence Fund and ministry would be maximizing national security by nonviolent ways (home and abroad): diplomatic, economical, cultural connections, educating the general public, subsidizing communication courses, conferences, making friendly connections, cooperation, student and idea exchange programs, promoting being fair in world politics and everyday personal affairs, aid programs, etc.

  4. Has it been introduced and / or discussed in parliament (when, how often, which were the results)?

    No. We made them know of the issue and 2 parliament committees heard us.

  5. What can you say about history, development, stages and future aspects of such a proposal which might be of interest to other Peace Tax campaigners?

    Emphasize that nonviolent defence is a real alternative, works, gives real security to the person you want to persuade. Much stronger, longer-lasting security can be reached by much less money. Emphasize the parallelity to the CO right: both personal participation and indirect (paying others) participation in violence are our responsibility, against our conscience.

  6. Are there any plans for the future to go on or to become politically active for legislation in your country?

    At least desire. I will be active for legislation. Our group of three broke up, we were not active in this field. We were mainly lobbying for the abolishment of conscription in Hungary, which is in the program of the new government (since spring). They declared to abolish conscription until 2006.

  7. Please give name and address of a person who can give and receive further information with regard to Peace Tax legislation

    János Rátkai, Bikszadi u. 36., Budapest 1119

    jratkai@yahoo.com, beker@zpok.hu, +36.30.9146610

  8. Name of organisation, leading and working structure, number of members, themes you actually deal with, budget, sponsoring, contact to NGOs, contact to politicians.

    Alba Circle Nonviolent Peace Movement. The former Beker Foundation focused on wtr/ptc, but actually died. All its members were members of Alba, I am a leader of Alba, so now Alba is the existing organization in Hungary that deals with wtr/ptc, but Alba focuses on CO, and now actually only I deal with WTR-PTCs. No budget, no sponsor. In this theme no contact to NGOs. I was in correspondence with some politicians but no contact was made since the general elections in April. Instead of this sad country report I would call readers' attention to the proposed law principles, which may be of interest.

I will not attend this conference, but send my greetings to you.

Rátkai János