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Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, on Wednesday welcomed the Fiscal Council’s unanimous approval of the government’s draft of amendments to the 2023 budget. Gulyás said the budget earmarks more than 2,600 billion forints (EUR 6.5bn) for keeping household utility bills low. The special legal order gives the government the power to amend the budget, Gulyás told MTI, adding, at the same time, that the draft amendments will be submitted to parliament for approval in the first half of January. Though the special legal order allows for swift action, “this can in no way restrict the authority of parliament,” he added.
Next year will be the second of the continuing war and the “sanctions-fuelled energy crisis”, Gulyás said. The war and the effects of the sanctions imposed by Brussels are a danger to Hungarian families, the Hungarian economy and Hungarian jobs, he added. Gulyás said the most important task in 2023 would be to protect Hungarian families and jobs and maintain economic growth. Hungary’s utility protection fund has to be topped up so that household utility prices can remain capped up to average consumption, he said, adding that the fund was also used to finance support for companies in energy-intensive sectors. “The 2023 budget is therefore the budget of utility protection,” he said. Next year’s budget will also ensure support for families and guarantee that the value of pensions can be preserved, Gulyás said.