Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister's Office, has announced that the amended budget for this year and the 2022 budget would focus on relaunching the economy.
The minister said proposed changes to the 2021 budget have been tabled in parliament, while planned changes for next year will be submitted in a few weeks’ time. A fund equal to 12 percent of Hungary’s GDP, or HUF 6,000 billion (EUR 16.5bn), will be established within this year’s budget to restart the economy once the pandemic has abated and the country is close to achieving herd immunity. A similar fund of HUF 7,000 billion will be created in the 2022 budget, he added.
Minister Gulyás said if parliament approves the two budgets, it will have ensured a “lifeline” for the economy and possibly spurred a vigorous growth as early as this year. The number of job holders grew by 66,000 in March compared to February. The government’s pledge to restore all jobs lost to the pandemic will be met once a further 10,000 jobs are created, he said.
The minister said restaurants will be eligible for wage subsidies regardless of whether they opened their terraces or not. Gulyás said the payment of subsidies was “fast and effective,” and the government has already disbursed HUF 71.7 billion of the HUF 72.2 billion requested. Gulyás insisted that the decision to reopen schools and kindergartens had been a good one, with 60 percent of kindergarteners and 75 percent of 1-4 grade pupils back in school at the first week of in-person teaching. Their numbers are continuing to grow, he added.