Katalin Novák, Minister of Family Affairs, said Hungary’s government will spend some HUF 3,500 billion (EUR 9.7bn), or 6.2 percent of GDP, on family support measures in 2022.
In an interview with Saturday’s edition of Magyar Nemzet, the minister commented on the left-wing opposition’s claims that the government had drafted an “election budget” for next year, and said the government had gradually been increasing spending on family support schemes since 2010. “We didn’t just start this work now, but have been continuously allocating more resources [towards family support],” Novák said. “Spending on family support measures will increase to around 3,500 billion forints next year … up from just 960 billion in 2010.” This means that the government will spend 6.2 percent of GDP on supporting families, “which is also outstanding in an international comparison”, the minister added.
Minister Novák said the government was not simply “giving handouts”, but rather implementing “well thought out measures”, noting that taxes on income have been gradually reduced since 2010. “I remember when we first introduced the flat personal income tax rate our critics were saying it would destroy the budget, yet tax revenue and consumption both increased,” she said. “We again expect the savings to be accumulated by families to flow back into the economy. We’re still not thinking in terms of austerity measures, but looking to give people more room for manoeuvre.” Concerning the Council of the Elderly’s stance on the restoration of 13th month pensions, Novák said the elderly felt they were “getting something back that had been taken away from them”.
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