“The economic performance achieved since 2010 is enabling the budget to undertake a greater role within the field of family support schemes, and for people who both work and raise children to receive increasing benefits within the tax system”, Gergely Gulyás said.

During his annual state of the nation address on Sunday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will present the Family Protection Action Plan, “which has a precedent, and which, if possible, will now continue”, the politician said. In reply to a question, he stated that the announcements would affect this year’s budget, and can be financed from the available resources, for instance from the general reserve and the already visible surplus revenues.

Mr. Gulyás expressed his hope that the measures will further improve people’s willingness to have children and the demographic situation.

The Government has decided to buy out the Corvinus University of Budapest’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme building at a cost 24 billion forints (EUR 75 million), Mr. Gulyás informed the press.

“The Government has requested a report on what commitments investments realised within a PPP construction have transferred to the Cabinet to date”, he added.

“This method applied by Minister of Education Bálint Magyar was extremely expensive, and we are still having to pay the price” ten years after his ministership, Mr. Gulyás said.

Mr. Gulyás reported on the fact that the Government has come to a decision with relation to Corporate Tax Allowance (TAO) sports funding. Prior to the decision, Viktor Orbán met with the President of the relative Spectator Sports Association, with whom they determined: the 50 billion forints included in the earlier government decree is more than enough for the required infrastructure development, but does not include operative TAO funding, in view of which the budget must be increased to 125 billion forints.

The head of the Prime Minister’s Office was asked about a possible ethical codex for Members of Parliament, as suggested in the press, with relation to which he said that he doesn’t regard any restrictions as justified with relation to MP’s rights. Ho noted, however, that it was precisely the opposition that restricted MP’s rights on 12 December of last year. “Seeing the current state of public life, there wouldn’t be much point in an ethical codex”, he said in summary.

Mr. Gulyás commented on the proposed punishment for opposition politicians, stating that what happened at the end of last year was much worse than deserving the docking of just one month’s salary, but this is the maximum allowed by law, and it goes without saying that the strictest possible punishment must be exacted within the field of disciplinary law. The Minister said last year’s action by opposition parties in parliament, timed to coincide with the amendment of the Labour Code, was an attempt to make the normal functioning of Hungarian constitutional order impossible.

In reply to a question concerning the planned changes at the research institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, he said that with relation to state-funded research it is right to switch to tenders, and project-based funding is best within this field.

With relation to the delegation from the Venice Commission, which is in Budapest to gather information on public administration courts, Mr. Gulyás said that in his opinion the new regulations will stand the tests of both constitutional and international law.

In response to the fact that the winner of the preliminary vote to find the Left’s candidate for Mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, is campaigning with the claim that he would stop the City Park project if he became Mayor, the Minister said: He does not have the opportunity to do so.

Mr. Gulyás confirmed that, similarly to previous years, next year’s budget will once again be adopted in the middle of this year, following the European Parliament elections.

On the subject of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant project, he said the project is well over a year out of schedule, but this does not affect the price of the project, only the loan agreement needs to be amended, and as far as he knows the conditions of the agreement also remain unchanged.

With relation to the court decision requiring the Hungarian State to pay compensation to French voucher issuing company Sodexo, the Minister said the Government is appealing the case, but the change would still be worth it for the country if it were to lose the legal action, but he hopes that will not be the case.