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Government submits 2018 budget to Parliament

May 5th, 2017

A pro-government commentator contends that the government budget bill is balanced and prudent. His left-wing counterpart accuses the government of vote hunting through pension hikes.

The budget bill tabled by the government projects a 4.1 per cent GDP growth for 2018 and assumes a 2.4 per cent deficit. Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said that the budget prioritizes Hungarian families, productivity and job creation.

In Magyar Idők, Gergely Kiss quotes the preliminary review of the State Audit Office of Hungary and contends that next year’s budget is balanced and prudent, despite the fact that a Parliamentary election will take place in 2018. The pro-government columnist thinks that the budget reflects Hungary’s improving economic outlook – real wages increase, taxes are cut and Hungary can finance its debt without the help of the IMF.

Néspszava’s Miklós Bonta thinks that despite the seemingly conservative budget, the government still targets pensioners. The left-wing commentator admits that pensions are very low in the country, but he nonetheless accuses the government of offering unusually high pension hikes, which is intended to buy the votes of elderly Hungarians. Bonta also suspects that the deficit will be lower than projected by the budget and the government will use the saved money without having to seek the approval of Parliament. In conclusion, Bonta suspects that the government will anyways amend the budget several times, and thus the calculations in the tabled bill are not to be taken too seriously.

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