Preserving stability and predictability is of paramount importance in times of war, and the government keeps to the practice of submitting next year’s draft budget to parliament as early as the summer, the finance ministry told MTI on Friday, after the government submitted the draft budget to the Fiscal Council. Despite the challenging circumstances, the government’s aim is to “return to a higher growth path of around 4% next year with disciplined fiscal management while curbing inflation to 6%,” the ministry said. The government will keep the price caps on utility fees next year up to the level of average consumption, which is guaranteed by a utility protection fund set up in the budget. It will increase the funds necessary for protecting pensions and will ensure the stability of the value of pensions next year. Pensioners will receive their 13th-month pension in February 2024. “We will maintain the family support system, which is unique in Europe, and continue to support families with tax benefits and targeted programmes, while maintaining high employment,” the ministry said.
In times of war, a strong Hungarian army is needed, therefore, the resources dedicated to defence will reach 2% of GDP. The government is committed to returning to the path of reducing the deficit and the state debt followed before the pandemic. Under the draft of next year’s budget, the budget deficit will be reduced to 2.9% and the state debt to 66.7% of GDP in 2024, the ministry said. With the opinion of the Fiscal Council, the government will submit the 2024 budget bill to parliament on May 30.