Hungarian Economy Minister: Goals and growth momentum are to remain the same
The economic policy objectives of the Government are unchanged: robust and sustainable economic growth, financial stability, full employment, to reduce government debt, cut taxes and raise wages, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at the annual staff meeting of the Hungarian Banking Association.
Besides the strengthening of families and maintaining their safety, the new Government is prioritizing sustainable development and the improvement of competitiveness, he noted. He confirmed that PM Viktor Orbán has asked him to continue in his post as minister and become the head of the economic cabinet.
Due to the inadequate economic policies of prior governments, by the middle of the 2000s Hungary had lost its position as the region’s economic powerhouse and instead of achieving high growth the gap with regional peers began to widen. However, efforts since 2010 have enabled Hungary to become the leading force of the region again, the Minister stated.
Facts such the 4.2 percent GDP growth last year, the decrease of the government debt-to-GDP ratio from about 80 percent in 2010 to 72 percent now and the decision of all three major credit rating agencies to have restored Hungary’s investment grade status have created a firm foundation for that, he added.
These results will also help maintain economic growth of some 4 percent in coming years – above the EU average –, reduce government debt to 60 percent of GDP and cut payroll taxes to a level below that of our regional peers. Election results have also shown that economic policy has been competent.
Speaking of achievements in employment, Mihály Varga said that the number of people in employment had risen from 3.7 million in 2010 to almost 4.5 million now, and the respective unemployment rate had fallen from 12 percent to 3.8 percent.
Existing labour market reserves — such as employees in public work schemes, those working abroad of whom more and more people are returning home due to rising wages, women and certain groups of elderly people – will help the Government make good on the promise of 1 million new jobs made in 2010, Mihály Varga pointed out. The transformation of the vocational education system has been effective and necessary for the economy, and the role which enterprises are playing within the system must be accordingly strengthened.
Source: Ministry for National Economy