The Hungarian economy is again poised for a strong year, Finance Minister Mihály Varga said in an interview to Saturday’s edition of pro-government daily Magyar Hírlap.
The government is preparing to enact a range of measures aimed at restructuring the economy and promoting investments and employment, Varga said. Tax cuts are also set to continue, as are the measures designed to encourage home purchases and renovations, he added.
Following last year’s roughly 5 percent GDP growth rate, the government expects growth to slow this year to around 4 percent, Varga said.
Though Hungary has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the European Union, the government aims to continue boosting employment, he said. “By our calculations, there is still room for some 300,000 more people on the job market,” Varga said.
The government also wants to further reduce the tax and administrative burdens on businesses. “Wages are continuing to rise in the private sector and public institutions must also keep up with this trend,” he said.
Asked about the possible introduction of a single-digit personal income tax rate, the minister said the government has still not ruled it out. However, he said expanding an exemption from the PIT to include women with three children simultaneously to introducing a single-digit tax rate “would probably be a jump too big for the limits of the budget”.
The government is also preparing to issue bonds with longer maturities with a view to increasing the number of government bonds held by private citizens, he said, adding that the aim was to raise total retail government securities stock to 11,000 billion forints (EUR 32.8bn), the minister added.
In the featured photo illustration: Finance Minister Mihály Varga. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI