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FINMIN: 2024 DRAFT BUDGET 'DEFENCE BUDGET'

Finance Minister Mihály Varga has said the 2024 draft budget would be a "defence budget", protecting the country's security, families, pensions, jobs and the utility price caps.
 

The draft budget calculates with a 4% economic growth and a deficit of 2.9% of GDP. State debt is expected to go down to 66.7%, and inflation to an annual 6%, he told a regular government press briefing on Thursday. The draft budget has been submitted to the Budgetary Council and will be submitted to parliament next Tuesday, he said. The National Defence Fund will be allocated some 1,300 billion forints (EUR 3.5bn), Varga said. Taxes imposed on companies making excessive profits will be used to keep the utility protection fund operational, he said. The extraordinary tax may be phased out next year, he said.
The economy performed well in 2022, thanks to government measures and a rebound after the coronavirus pandemic, he said. Due to the economic fallout of the war, growth is expected around 1.5% this year and 4% in 2024, he said. While the budget has been well balanced since 2010, the pandemic and the war have slowed the reduction of Hungary’s state debt, he said. Next year, consolidation measures are expected to bring it down to 2.9%, he said.