Lawmakers Pass Hungary’s 2016 Budget

  • 24 Jun 2015 9:00 AM
Lawmakers Pass Hungary’s 2016 Budget
Lawmakers approved Hungary’s 2016 budget in a final vote months ahead of the legal deadline, with 119 votes in favour and 63 against. The Budget Act calculates with a budget deficit of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) based on EU accounting rules and public debt of 73.3% of GDP. The budget targets total revenue of 15,800 billion forints (EUR 50.7bn), total expenditures of 16,561 billion forints and a deficit of 761 billion forints.

Next year’s budget “equals lower taxes and safe jobs for families,” Mihály Varga, the economy minister, told a press conference after the vote. By passing the budget, lawmakers have expressed support for the government’s policies of cutting taxes, creating jobs, raising wages and supporting investment, he said.

Varga confirmed the government’s expectations of 2.5% economic growth and 1.6% inflation, as well as reducing the national debt below 74% before the end of next year. Next year more money will be spent on health, education, public safety, and rural development, he said.

The minister said that the government’s job protection scheme would be rolled out to agriculture, and employers would benefit from tax reductions totalling 138 billion forints in 2016. He added that next year 240,000 people, 40,000 more than this year, would be offered fostered jobs at a cost of340 billion forints, up from 270 billion in 2015.

Teachers will be granted another 10% pay rise in September next year, while law-enforcement career models—involving a 30% pay hike—will be introduced before the end of this year. He added that a total of 15.3 billion forints will be spent on raising the incomes of young doctors.

The legal deadline for submitting budget bills is October 15 of the preceding year, except for election years, but the government said earlier it aimed to see next year’s budget approved before the end of parliament’s spring session.

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