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Finance Minister: Break-even Budget by 2022 or 2023

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.01.23.

Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said Hungary’s government could draft a budget without a deficit by 2022 or 2023 in an interview published in the latest issue of weekly Mandiner.

“I’m a believer that there will be a break-even budget – one that doesn’t cause a deficit – by 2022 or 2023 at the latest,” Varga told Mandiner.

“That can only be achieved gradually, because the Hungarian economy is on a path of convergence,” he added.

Hungary’s government targeted a 1.8pc-of-GDP general government deficit last year, calculated according to the European Union’s accrual-based accounting rules. This year, the deficit is set to narrow to 1.0 percent of GDP.

Budget Deficit Runs 122% of 2019 Full-year Target

Responding to criticism that tighter fiscal policy would mean a reduction of resources in areas such as health care, Varga said it had come to light in recent months that Hungary’s health-care system is not underfinanced, but rather faces structural challenges.

“We put more money into the operation of the sector, but the debt keeps reaccumulating. There are management problems, too, which need to be changed,” he said.

In the featured photo: Finance Minister Mihály Varga. Photo by Zsolt Czeglédi/MTI