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Hungary’s government on Thursday issued a decree amending the 2023 budget, the finance ministry said.
Next year’s budget envisages GDP growth of 1.5%, a declining budget deficit and falling public debt, the ministry said. It targets a deficit of 3.9% of GDP, the ministry said, adding that growth over the 1.5% assumption should be used to further reduce the deficit. Year-end public debt is targeted at 70.2% of GDP.
The budget increases the utilities protection fund to 2,610 billion forints (EUR 6.5bn) from the originally planned 670 billion. Central reserves have also been increased to 255 billion forints from 170 billion. It also allows for raising all pensions by 15%, the ministry said, adding that spending on pensions in 2023 will exceed 6,150 billion forints.
The budget is dedicated to keeping household utility bills low, the ministry said. The protracted war and the “sanctions-fuelled energy crisis” are a threat to Hungarian families, the Hungarian economy and jobs, it added. The ministry said the most important task of 2023 would be protecting families and jobs, preserving the value of pensions, keeping the caps on household utility bills in place and preserving Hungary’s peace.