Hungarian parliament adopts budget for 2020

Hungarian parliament adopts budget for 2020

The Hungarian parliament adopted the 2020 budget on Friday with 127 for and 58 against, aiming at defending Hungary's economic results, according to Finance Minister Mihaly Varga, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

"The adoption of the budget shows that the decisive majority of lawmakers agree with our goals: the defense of our economic results, the support of families and the assurance of the country's safety," Varga said after the vote.

Next year's budget targets an economic growth of "around 4 percent" and a budget deficit of 1.0 percent of GDP based on European Union (EU) accounting rules. Hungary's year-end state debt level, relative to GDP, is set to fall from 68.6 percent targeted for 2019 to 65.5 percent for 2020.

"The budget allocates more funds to virtually all territories," Varga added.

"The adopted amendments have further increased the budgetary resources earmarked for education, culture, leisure and tourism, while not jeopardizing the deficit target 1.0 percent of GDP, or the public debt ratio," he said.

The budget sets aside 488 billion forints (1.68 billion U.S. dollars) of reserves, including 378 billion forints in the National Protection Fund, and 110 billion forints for "extraordinary government measures", more than double the total of 225 billion forints of reserves in the 2019 budget.

"The 1.0 percent deficit target in next year's budget can be achieved if fiscal reserves are not entirely depleted," the Hungarian National Bank (MNB) said in an analysis of the government's 2020 budget.

About the state debt, it said the decrease in state debt relative to GDP was likely to be smaller than the 3.1-percentage-point target in the budget.

The budget puts state debt as a percentage of GDP at 65.5 percent at the end of 2020 down from 68.6 percent at the end of 2019. The MNB projects the debt ratio will fall to 65.4 percent from 68.1 percent during the period.

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