Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview on Friday that economic growth would be restored in Hungary next year after having contracted to zero, “or even below that” this year. “We must provide families with help through growth,” Orbán told public radio. Growth, he added, meant job protection, higher wages and a higher standard of living. The prime minister said the government had been determined this year to protect the value of pensions and jobs while curbing inflation to single digits year-end. “We undertook three things …. we have fulfilled all three,” he said.
Raising the minimum wage, the wages of skilled workers and the launch of CSOK Plusz, a revamped home purchase subsidy programme, “are matters for 2024” designed to boost Hungary, its economy and the situation of Hungarian families, he said. Orbán said that if “certain economic indicators” were underperforming, “Brussels” could put forward “certain measures”, which, if rejected by a member state, would be enforced anyway because they had the means to do so. “But they have no idea about Hungarian life or the laws of the Hungarian economy”, he said. “We know precisely how to restore economic growth, reduce the public debt [and] the budget deficit…”
Orbán said “Brussels” wanted Hungary to abolish its tax on excessive corporate profits, its subsidy system for household energy and its cap on loan interest rates. “But that would ruin the lives of Hungarian families,” he said. “We will also have a big debate on economic policy issues”, the prime minister said. “The big issues will rather concern the January-September 2024 period, though they are also connected to the European elections due in June,” he added. Orbán said almost all issues could be agreed on with “a good, sensible, down-to-earth European leadership”, but the current leadership was lacking and “should be replaced”. “A new, better and friendlier European Union leadership is needed in Brussels,” the prime minister said.