Hoppál: The Positions of Culture Have Been Defended Successfully
At negotiations on next year’s budget, we were able to underpin the demands of the cultural sector with data and arguments that guarantee a rise in Hungary’s cultural budget in 2015, Deputy State Secretary for Culture at the Ministry of Human Resources Péter Hoppál told the state news agency MTI.
Mr. Hoppál emphasised that they negotiated the entire concept written up by his team with the Ministry for National Economy, and according to the consensus that arose from discussions, the area of culture will have HUF 42.7 billion at is disposal next year under current plans. This represents an increase compared to the HUF 41.6 billion available for spending in 2014.
However, it is not only the budget of the Ministry of Human Resources that covers culture as almost all ministries afford funds to the area, the State Secretary said, adding that one of the largest of such financial frameworks is included in the Minister of Interior’s budget. Through the cultural normative provided to local governments, this ministry will contribute approximately HUF 32 billion to the country’s basic cultural infrastructure.
Around HUF 2 billion will be available to the area of heritage protection, belonging to the Prime Minister’s Office. On a separate note, the Hungarian Academy of Arts (MMA) will dispose over a budget totalling HUF 5.5 billion and the Hungarian National Film Fund will similarly have in excess of HUF 5 billion to spend. According to Mr. Hoppál, these separate funds amount to a total of HUF 112 billion in state expenditure on culture, of which the budget of the State Secretariat for Culture constitutes one-third.
“However, this sum is only a starting-point because the parliamentary negotiation of the budget has not yet come to an end. We have handed in several amendments; for example, together with László L. Simon of the Prime Minister’s Office, we put forward four amendment packages in an attempt to broaden the financing of the network of cultural institutions”, the Deputy State Secretary said.
In connection with misunderstandings on the financing of Liget Budapest project, which covers the planned redevelopment of Budapest’s grand city park, the Városliget, Mr. Hoppál said that while only HUF 8.8 million is included for the project under a separate heading, the programme could continue in 2015 to the expense of funds allocated extraordinary governmental measures, as was the case this year. “The government will secure the conditions for Budapest to acquire new venues of culture and modern museums that are worthy of the city. I consider it a great success that several of the world’s leading architectural firms have applied for the call for plans for the New National Gallery”, Mr. Hoppál stressed.