Regarding education, Minister Varga said the government had drafted next year’s budget with increased spending in all areas of the sector. The sector itself will receive 3,400 billion forints (EUR 9.1bn), including 1,200 billion on teachers’ wages, 126 billion more than this year. Gergely Gulyás noted that teachers’ wages would be raised to 80% of the average salary of degree holders once Hungary has access to EU funding. Until that is the case, the government guarantees to raise apace of inflation this year and at least 10% annually afterwards, he said. The government also pledged to give larger raises to teachers working in the most disadvantaged regions, he added. He also called on leftist MEPs “earning 6 million in Brussels” not to hinder the wage hikes. Answering a question, Minister Varga said the government had sufficient reserves to continue financing the Erasmus and Horizont student programmes next year, should the payment of EU funds be further withheld by Brussels. “Hungary will meet all criteria set by Brussels and can justly expect the receipt of funds it is entitled to,” he said. He said chances of paying a pension bonus this year were “slim”. If economic growth exceeds 3.5% next year, the payment can be resumed, he said. “We have been in an alliance with the pensioners since 2010 which is why we cannot allow pensions to lose their value in real terms.”
Finance Minister: Aim of 2024 budget is to protect Hungary's security, families, pensions, jobs and utility price caps
May 26, 2023
The draft budget calculates a 4% economic growth and a deficit of 2.9% of GDP. State debt is expected to go down to 66.7%, and inflation to an annual 6%.
Finance Minister Mihály Varga has said the 2024 draft budget would be a "defense budget" and will also allocate significant funds for education. The aim of the budget is to protect the country's security, families, pensions, jobs and utility price caps.
Minister Varga told a government press briefing on Thursday that the draft budget calculates a 4% economic growth and a deficit of 2.9% of GDP. State debt is expected to go down to 66.7%, and inflation to an annual 6%. The draft budget has been submitted to the Budgetary Council and will be submitted to parliament next Tuesday, he said. The National Defense Fund will be allocated some 1,300 billion forints (EUR 3.5bn), Varga said. Taxes imposed on companies making excessive profits will be used to keep the utility protection fund operational, he said. The extraordinary tax may be phased out next year, he said. The economy performed well in 2022, thanks to government measures and a rebound after the coronavirus pandemic, he said. Due to the economic fallout of the war, growth is expected around 1.5% this year and 4% in 2024, he said. While the budget has been well balanced since 2010, the pandemic and the war have slowed the reduction of Hungary’s state debt, he said. Next year, consolidation measures are expected to bring it down to 2.9%, he said.