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Gov’t to Allocate 1345 Billion Forints for Economic Protection

Hungary Today 2020.04.04.

Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás described the financial reserves available for the fight against the coronavirus and its economic effects at his weekly press conference on Saturday. The PMO Chief said that they believe in sharing the burden, so fifty percent of the party subsidies (a total of 1,2 billion forints, EUR 3,2 million) go to the epidemic protection fund, but multinational companies and banks also have to help resolve the crisis. 

Gulyás said the local governments will also have to contribute to the amount, the car tax – roughly 34 billion forints (EUR 92,9 million) – will be channeled into the defense fund. They will collect around 36 billion from multinational companies and banks would have to pay a total of 55 billion forints (EUR 150 million) into the joint.

The government estimates that the money that will be spent specifically on defense will be around HUF 663 billion, but it is a fund that is open from above. Gulyás added that a total of HUF 1,345 billion (EUR 3,7 billion) will be available for economic protection in the budget, to restart the economy once the state of emergency ends.

The one-time gross subsidy of HUF 500,000 (EUR 1366) for all healthcare workers, which the government plans to pay out until June, will cost the budget approximately HUF 70 billion (EUR 191 million). In addition, nurses and healthcare professionals will receive a 20% salary increase in November.

The economic measures announced so far caused a HUF 380 billion (EUR 1 billion) loss for the state from the budget, while the waiver of contributions has resulted in roughly HUF 100 billion (273 million) minus so far. However, the state budget currently has 378 billion forints in reserves to fight the virus, Gulyás said. The measures will enter into effect on April 15 or May 1.

According to Gulyás, the number of unemployed has increased by about 30,000 people so far. Although more people may have lost their jobs, but there were some who managed to find work elsewhere. However, the number of vacancies has dropped significantly, and since the beginning of April, the government has estimated that the number of people losing their jobs is growing by about 4,000 per day.

According to the minister, the entire economic protection package will affect 18-22 percent of Hungarian GDP, however this number includes other measures as well, such as the moves of the central bank.

featured photo: Gergely Botár/MTI/