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Government submits draft budget for 2023

June 9th, 2022

A left-wing commentator accuses the government of proposing an illegitimate and extremely restrictive budget for 2023. His pro-government counterpart argues that the government will keep energy prices down and welfare spending high.

Népszava’s Zsolt Papp accuses the government of imposing vast austerity on the population. The left-wing columnist contends that the public spending cuts and surplus taxes announced are an attempt to remedy the government’s wasteful spending spree before the election. In an aside, Papp describes the whole package as illegitimate, as the government introduced cuts and new taxes through decrees. He concludes by claiming that at the end of the day, windfall corporate taxes will be paid for by customers, while the wage hikes announced before the election will be eliminated by galloping inflation.

According to Gergely Csiki’s calculation on Portfolio, the government’s spending cuts and tax hikes amount to 4,254 billion in Forints, over 7 per cent of GDP. Csiki also suspects that the surplus taxes will be extended beyond 2023 as in their absence, the government would need to introduce even more spending cuts in order to moderate the deficit of public finances. Higher taxes, however, will result in slower growth, Csiki predicts.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gergely Kiss dismisses suggestions that the government is resorting to austerity. On the contrary, he writes, surplus taxes have been imposed on corporate ‘extra profits’ in order to keep energy tariffs down and maintain the lavish social benefit projects targeting families and pensioners. Kiss notes that in 2023, the government will also increase military expenditures to 2 per cent of GDP to bolster national security. Despite the current economic and geopolitical uncertainties, the proposed budget serves as a strong ‘financial shield’ that protects the interests of the country and its citizens, Kiss concludes.

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