The measures and laws adopted after the European parliamentary elections provide a good basis for the further strengthening of Hungary, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister said at a press conference held on Monday in Budapest.

Csaba Dömötör stressed that families are given more support, there is more money for security, and thanks to tax reductions there will be more scope for pay rises. Families raising children are at the centre of the government’s policies, and therefore it is important that the family protection action plan has started, families can now apply for the baby expecting support, and the village housing benefit scheme ‘csok’ has also begun. The child care allowance for grandparents will start in January, as will the personal income tax exemption of mothers with four or more children, the State Secretary said.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár/

Mr Dömötör added that the present period is not about the austerity measures proposed by the Left for Hungary, but about carefully considered growth and advancement; the goal is to have a country which appreciates and motivates those who live off work, supports families, and is able to maintain security. The decisions adopted in the past few weeks serve these very goals.

Mr Dömötör said another main direction of the policies pursued by the government is tax reduction: employee taxes will decrease by another 2 percentage points which will provide further scope for pay rises for businesses. Based on the laws passed in the past few days, the tax of small businesses, too, will decrease from 13 per cent to 12 per cent, he added.

He pointed out that the economy can further gain in strength if, in the meantime, we are also able to maintain security. Therefore, defence expenditures will increase by 30 per cent in a single year. As a result, we are on the right track towards meeting our NATO undertaking of raising our defence expenditures to 2 per cent to GDP by 2024, he said.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár/

The State Secretary underlined that a stable and ever stronger economy that stands on its own two feet provides the background for these measures. Based on the budget adopted last Friday, they calculate with a growth rate of around 4 per cent and a decreasing sovereign debt for next year, he said. He added that this is all the more important because “the clouds indicating slowing down in the sky over the European economy are not dispersing”.

He highlighted that in next year’s budget there will be more money in every priority area: there will be HUF 224 billion more for family support, HUF 184 billion more for health care, HUF 136 billion more for pensions, HUF 60 billion more for education, and HUF 174 billion more for security.

In answer to a question, Mr Dömötör said the government seeks to express its appreciation to members of the older generations in every possible way; this is why they undertook to preserve the value of pensions. The government has honoured this undertaking; in fact, the value of pensions has continuously increased, he said. He added that it will be possible to discuss further pension premiums if there is a 4 per cent economic growth rate next year as well.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár/

He also said that the government wishes to remedy demographic challenges primarily by supporting families, and the raising of the retirement age is not on the government’s agenda.

Regarding the proposed amendments concerning the budget that were submitted by Párbeszéd, the State Secretary said that these constituted a brutal tax increase package, and the question is whether Gergely Karácsony knew about this. If not, then that stands as further proof of his incompetence, he said.

He took the view that the party’s proposals would impose enormous burdens on those living off work and businesses again. They would do away with the family support system, and would pursue the same policy that they left off in 2010. The government does not support these tax increases, he stated.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár/

Regarding the fact that the European Parliament will decide soon as to whether they support Ursula von der Leyen’s nomination for the position of President of the European Commission, Mr Dömötör said they want leaders to head European institutions who stand on Christian democratic foundations, regard European values as important, do not support the withdrawal of powers from Member States, and give Member States the respect they deserve.

Mr Dömötör also said they would like Hungary’s interest representation in the EP and in all EU institutions to be as strong as possible. He stressed that the fact that several Fidesz politicians have already been elected as vice-chairs of the EP’s committees and Lívia Járóka as Vice-President of the EP demonstrates that the anti-Hungarian campaigns launched against them have failed.

In the context of climate targets, he said Hungary will honour its undertakings for 2030, and any further targets can be discussed once they can see the magnitude of EU funding made available for the purpose. Climate protection is important, but the burden bearing capacity of Hungarian businesses and families must also be taken into consideration, he added.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)