Budapest, September 14 (MTI) – If the migration crisis is sustained it may be necessary to amend the budget, though for the time being measures can be paid for by making internal budget transfers, the economy minister said on Monday.
Mihaly Varga said in an interview to public service news website hirado.hu that the government had spent almost 30 billion forints (EUR 96m) on fortifying the Serbian-Hungarian border. In addition are extra costs related to health, education and law enforcement, he said.
This year’s budget deficit is planned to be 2.4 percent of gross domestic product. Whereas the special government measures will deplete reserves, financing from the National Protection Fund is still available, he said.
One priority is to ensure that amounts spent on security and border protection will be increased while maintaining the stability of health care and pension schemes, Varga said. One red line is the state pension pot, which must not be raided, he added.
The minister said he trusted that Hungary would receive some external financing for measures related to handling the migration wave.
Varga said there was some spare capacity in Hungary’s labour market and this should, for the time being, solve the needs of the economy. He added that often it became apparent during the registration of migrants that some of them are illiterate and do not speak any other language than their own. So it is not manpower that the host country would be getting but an extra burden of social spending.