Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will roll out the government’s action plan aimed at assisting families in his state-of-the-nation speech on Sunday, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office told a press briefing. Gergely Gulyás said the government scheme “has had a history and if possible, it will be continued”. He said that the country’s economic achievements since 2010 “have made it possible for the central budget to contribute more and more towards family support” and allow for further tax incentives for “those working and raising children”. Gulyás also voiced hope that the government’s measures would contribute to an increase in the number of births.
On another subject, Gulyás announced that the government has decided to buy out for 24 billion forints (EUR 75.2m) a building of Corvinus University funded through a public private partnership (PPP) scheme. Gulyás said this type of financing has proven to be “very expensive” and project costs are still being paid ten years after projects started. He said the cabinet has requested a summary on the continuing financial liabilities of the government from old PPP agreements.
Asked about the possible introduction of a code of ethics for lawmakers, Gulyás said he saw no need for imposing restrictions on the rights of MPs. He added, however, that last December, opposition lawmakers did restrict MP rights when they tried to disrupt the vote on the amendment to the labour code. Gulyás said that among such circumstances he did not see much of a point in introducing a code of ethics.
Commenting on the penalties proposed for the MPs who had disrupted the session, he said the actions of the opposition had been “significantly more serious” than something that could be settled by deducting one month’s salary from them. He added the actions were “an attempt to prevent the normal operation of Hungary’s constitutional order.”
Commenting on a Venice Commission delegation collecting information in Budapest about public administration courts, he said the Hungarian regulations fully stood the test of constitutional and international legal requirements.
He confirmed that the 2020 central budget is planned to be approved in the middle of the year, after the European parliamentary elections.
In reply to a question about the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power station, he said the project had suffered a one-year delay but it had no effect on its price.
Commenting on a legal dispute the Hungarian state had with the French voucher company Sodexo, Gulyás said Hungary would appeal the court ruling that imposed a fine on it but even if the appeal is rejected, it has been worth for the country to change its voucher system.