Erik Bánki of the ruling Fidesz party called the 2019 bill a budget for families that would ensure steady growth. In the debate, he said the budget would preserve Hungary’s security, maintain economic growth and support for families while keeping the creation of full employment in mind.
He said since 2010 Fidesz had pursued responsible budget management. The budget deficit is declining and economic growth is no longer based on foreign credit, he added.
János Volner of the opposition Jobbik party called the 2019 budget “unsustainable” from an economic and social point of view, saying it failed to address the challenges faced by the Hungarian economy and society, and it did not contend with structural problems. In the debate, he said the budget failed when it came to demographic problems, migration, and “Hungarian-Roma coexistence”. It also failed to deal with the fact that Hungary is dependent on EU funds, foreign investments and remittances by Hungarians working abroad, he said.
Bertalan Tóth, the leader of the opposition Socialist Party, said the budget bill was “anti-future”, and he vowed to submit a package of amendments. He insisted that the draft budget was “stuck in the past” and favoured people with larger incomes while devoting less money, in proportion to GDP, to health care and education. He added that more funds would be available for “government propaganda”.
László Varju of the Democratic Coalition branded the draft budget as one of “unpredictability, uncertainty and inaction”. He insisted that it would cause families and businesses to lose out and deprive them of opportunities. He called for a complete re-think, adding that assumptions such as a target of 2.7% inflation should be replaced by the central bank’s latest projection of 3.1%. Since the bill’s preparation in April, major changes have taken place on the macroeconomic front such as the depreciation of the forint, Varju said.
Antal Csárdi of the green LMP party said the budget proposal did not bother with social injustice. He said the government would continue to run an austerity budget in the field of education, given that funding allocations did not keep up with inflation. He also criticised changes to the funding of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which he said was a similar “attack” by the government as it made against the CEU.
Bence Tordai of Párbeszéd said the budget was fit for an unjust country and he added that the period of Fidesz governance was one of missed opportunities.