It is already a cliché in Hungary that the country’s public media is pro-government, and politicians from the opposition are very rare guests on any of the programs. Therefore, alternative media says that giving a record amount of money for it in the 2021 budget can mean that PM Viktor Orbán and his government have already started to prepare for the 2022 general election.
According to Nepszava, the draft budget of 2021 would increase the budget of the Hungarian public media with 20 billion HUF, and it would allocate 11 billion HUF for the so-called national consultations. Interestingly, these two measures were not in the original draft of the budget but are modifications already accepted by the government majority of the competent parliament committee. Népszava thinks that the modifications serve no other purpose than to support Fidesz-KDNP’s preparation for the 2022 general elections.
If the committee and the parliament accept the modifications, that would mean that the Hungarian public media could use 97 billion HUF instead of 77 billion in 2021. Furthermore, the public media regularly receives money during each year thanks to government decisions, so the final amount they can use can be even more than 100 billion HUF (EUR 2.8 million).
As we reported before, the government majority recently accepted a bill that would
establish a school guard service
to ensure the security of both teachers and students. The guards would be authorised to take “professional and proportionate” action, including coercion if necessary, within the territory of the school, the MP said in the parliamentary debate. The law says that its aim is “fast, strong, and effective action” against perpetrators of violent crimes at school. The PSZ teachers’ union already rejected the idea, but the parliament accepted it, and the program will get 2.1 billion HUF (EUR 5.9 million) in 2021.
Interestingly, the budget gives 8 billion HUF for a sustainable development expo in Budapest.
In 2021, the government will be able to
spend 11 billion HUF on national consultations,
about which the opposition says that it does not serve the purpose its title suggests. That is because they do not contain the real problems of Hungarian society, only the questions the government would like people to think are important.
Interestingly, government parties did not hand in any modifications to the budget (which is exceptional), but they decided against all modifications by the opposition parties (which is usual).