Budapest, March 16 (MTI) – The Jobbik party and the Liberals on Wednesday criticised a planned amendment of Hungary’s budget law.
Jobbik MP Enikő Hegedűs told a press conference that the amendment would authorise the government to shape the budget through decrees and allow for limitless spending from Hungary’s budget reserves.
Hegedűs said the proposed amendment was a “cowardly” and “weak” one which showed that the government “is afraid” to engage in meaningful debate about the budget and intends to use the legislation to fill budget holes. She said a budget law that would allow the government to spend money in advance would tie the hands of future governments.
The Liberal Party said the amendment would wind up Hungary’s parliamentary democracy. Party leader Gábor Fodor told a press conference that it was unacceptable that the government could in the future be allowed to amend any part of the budget through decrees. He said the new budget law would take Hungary back to the 19th century, arguing that the rule by decree was one of the many aspects of oppression that the heroes of 1848 rose up against.
The proposed amendment to the budget law would allow the government to take decisions on funding for “priority public tasks”, even if the necessary budget appropriation can be ensured only at a later time. Funding for such measures would only be allowed through reallocation and could not raise the deficit, according to the bill posted on the website of parliament. If the funding is reallocated from budget reserves for “extraordinary government measures”, the amount will be limited to 40 percent of the total reserves in the first half of the fiscal year.