When the Hungarian voters went to the polls on April 8th, they did not simply choose political parties but voted on important questions about Hungary’s future. The Hungarian government drew up a budget for 2019 that reflects those priorities in the mandate delivered by the voters: security (both internal and external), growth, family and jobs.
“So, in the coming year it will continue to be important to implement the protection and creation of security, growth will continue, we shall support families raising children, and unemployment will continue to fall,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a recent radio interview. “[T]he aim of the budget is to enable us to realize our plans that we have jointly designated,” he added.
PM Orbán added that unlike the Socialist governments prior to 2010, his government did not advance a fat “election budget” last year in the lead up to the elections (nor in 2013, prior to the previous elections). That would have been fiscally irresponsible. Last year’s budget also served the interests of the people, and now, as he said, “we can start from solid foundations.”
“Hungary has successfully battled to reduce its level of government debt from over 80 per cent [of GDP] down to around 72 per cent,” PM Orbán said, signaling that the government plans to stay on this path. Because, the PM added, then “[i]f we need to, we can open our umbrella.”
Anticipating a deficit of only 1.8 per cent – far below the Maastricht threshold of 3 percent – the Hungarian budget for 2019 is a balanced one, said the prime minister, adding that it was created carefully to anticipate the possibility of hiccups in the global economy. The Orbán Governments have put forth considerable effort to avoid the trap of austerity measures. We aim to keep it that way.
Read more about Hungary’s response to the EU budget here.