The deficit target in the 2014 budget will be met thanks to reserves, Minister of National Economy Mihály Varga told lawmakers ahead of a debate of the budget bill.
The Government is considering recommendations by the Fiscal Council and the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) on possible risks in next year’s budget, he stated, noting that the Fiscal Council had said the bill was credible and feasible but called attention to several risks in revenue and spending. Reserves built into the budget are sufficient to manage risks, the Minister underlined, adding that targets include a deficit of 2.9% under EU methodology, inflation of 2.4% and economic growth of 2%.
The Government is committed to keeping the budget deficit below 3% of GDP under EU methodology in 2014 and the following years, as well as to reducing public debt, he said. The deficit target is safe thanks to 220 billion forints (EUR 751m) of reserves, Mr Varga stated. Higher real wages are likely to push consumption up by 2% next year and the bill earmarks 153 billion forints (EUR 520m) for hiking the wages of 160,000 teachers. He emphasised that the Government’s economic policy principles remain unchanged and no increase of tax or contributions should be expected for the business sector.