Finance ministry: Government to curb deficit, debt despite higher expenses

The government is working to ensure budget resources to preserve the value of pensions, maintain family subsidies and the utility price cut scheme, despite the significant pressure due to the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis resulting from sanctions and the high-risk global economic environment, the finance ministry said on Friday.

Hungary’s cash flow-based budget deficit was 4,074.3 billion forints (EUR 10.7bn) at the end of November, the finance ministry said in a first reading of data.

The central budget deficit reached 3,824.9 billion forints at the end of the month and the social security funds were 421.3 billion in the red. Separate state funds had a 171.9 billion surplus.

The general government deficit widened from 3,487.6 billion forints at the end of October.

The full-year deficit target is 3,400.2 billion. The deficit reached 4,753.4 billion forints in 2022.

Between January-November, the costs of the utility price cap scheme came to 1,333.8 billion forints, up from 394.2 billion forints in the same period last year, the statement said.

The budget has also pre-financed European Union schemes, totalling 2,402 billion forints between January and November. Meanwhile, incoming EU funding came only to 1,265.4 billion forints, it said.

In November, the government increased pensions by 3.5 percent to preserve their value. The raise cost the annual budget 188.2 billion forints, raising the total of pensions-related costs in the first 11 months of the year to 5,313.4 billion.

Health-care costs came to 2,189.1 billion in the same period.

Revenues from taxes and contributions have grown by an annual 15.9 percent in the same period.

Total revenues of the central budget were 18 percent higher than in the same period last year, the statement said.

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