Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

2016 draft budget tabled in Parliament

May 16th, 2015

As Mihály Varga Minister of National Economy submits the draft of the 2016 budget to Parliament, analysts from across the political spectrum assess it according to their own political tastes and leanings.

The government wants to prioritize working Hungarians, Századvég think tank’s Attila Palkó writes in Mozgástér blog. The pro-government analyst holds that Hungary’s fast economic growth (see BudaPost May 15) allows for a one per cent cut of the personal income flat tax rate from 16 to 15 per cent. Palkó believes that this is an effective and fair means to boost economic output. Palkó dismisses left-wing criticism according to which the flat tax system is unjust, noting that higher earners will still pay more even without progressive taxation. For a conservative government, equality should not be achieved through the punishment of the successful and the weakening of overall competitiveness, Palkó concludes.

The 2016 draft budget is as bad as all the previous ones prepared by the Orbán government, Márton Kasnyik comments on 444. The liberal journalist believes that government spending is wasteful and taxes are too high. While both overall spending and revenue intake will be cut (by 3.7 and 3.2 per cent), the government will still spend more on its own operation, Kasnyik claims. He goes on to suggest that the government should spend more on education and welfare rather than increasing the budget of the public media, cultural organizations, and the large-scale reconstruction of museums, parks and sports facilities. Kasnyik finds it controversial that the government will increase pensions only to compensate inflation while at the same time it will spend 25 per cent more on workfare schemes.

András Jámbor on Kettős Mérce adds that the 2016 budget plans will not help to stop the decline of the lower middle class. The left-wing blogger believes that the government should have allocated funds to significantly increase the wages of health care and social workers rather than introducing a one per cent income tax cut for all which, according to Jámbor, favours those with higher incomes.  If the government really wanted to help everyday Hungarians, it could have saved on the Paks nuclear power station construction, the public media, sports and culture in order to help underpaid public workers, Jámbor concludes.

In Magyar Nemzet, Péter Bodacz thinks that the 2016 budget is well-balanced, just like all it predecessors, submitted by the Orbán government since 2010.  The conservative commentator underlines the fact that that the government has kept the deficit under control and stopped the growth of public debt, while at the same time economic growth increased steadily. After all, the often criticized unorthodox economic methods may work, Bodacz remarks. He shares concerns over the absence of wage hikes in public health care, nonetheless. Bodacz thinks that health care workers protesting for higher wages are justified in their demands. In conclusion, Bodacz notes that the one per cent income tax cut will not help underpaid health care workers keep their heads above water.

Tags: , ,