Budapest (MTI) – Budget reserves in this year’s budget are sufficient to offset any financial corrections the European Commission may order in connection with suspended payments of the economic development and operative programme, a government official said on Thursday.

There are reserves beyond the ones already stated, carried over from overestimated expenses or surplus revenue that could counterbalance potential new obligations, Peter Beno Banai, state secretary of the economy ministry, said.

Banai stressed that the budget would only be affected if the Commission asked the government to make corrections to projects already completed. Discussions on the matter are still ongoing, and the Commission has not yet indicated that any corrections would be needed, he added.

Asked about debt consolidation for health-care institutions, and whether or not the 60 billion forints allocated for settling the debts of such institutions would be enough, the state secretary said that health-care institutions have been in need of annual debt consolidation since 2010. A sector should only be bailed out if its debt settlement is paired with reform, he said.

On the topic of Sunday shopping restrictions, Banai said there was a limited amount of information on its impact, but that the data available indicated that the restrictions have no negative effects on retail sales.

The state secretary said that the installation of online cash registers has had a whitening effect on the economy, resulting in an increase in VAT revenues.

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