Parliament Passes 2022 Budget, Four Opposition Parties Boycott Votes

  • 16 Jun 2021 7:23 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Parliament Passes 2022 Budget, Four Opposition Parties Boycott Votes
Hungary's parliament passed into law the government's 2022 budget in a final vote on Tuesday.

The budget passed with 132 votes for and 26 against.

The government drafted its budget bill envisaging a GDP growth of 5.2%, 3% inflation, a deficit target of 5.9% of GDP, as well as emergency reserves of 0.4% of GDP.

Targeted central revenues total 25,393.8 billion forints as against expenditure of 28,546.5 billion, with a projected shortfall of 3,152.6 billion forints.

Reserves will add up to 233 billion forints. The public debt is targeted at 79.3% of GDP.

According to the government’s expectations, employment will grow by 1.1% in 2022, net revenues will increase by 7.7%, and household consumption will be up by 4.8%.

Economic reconstruction will focus on new jobs, assistance to families with children and the elderly and to key economic sectors.

Climate protection targets and digitisation will also be given due weight. Similarly to the 2021 budget, next year’s will have an economic recovery fund, this time with over 7,300 billion forints, or 13% of next year’s GDP.

Another fund, to support social security and efforts against the pandemic, will contain over 3,600 forints.

Four opposition parties boycott parliamentary votes

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), Socialist, Párbeszéd and LMP parties boycotted the final votes on several government bills on Tuesday.

The opposition spokespeople referred to laws passed on paedophilia “stigmatising the gay community”, the extension of the “special legal order” related to the epidemic, and the transfer of state property to private foundations, as well as the 2022 budget.

At a joint press conference held in front of Parliament, DK lawmaker Gergely Arató spoke of “a day of shame” in the life of Hungary’s legislature.

“Today, a vote is being held on a series of proposals that do not comply with the rules of parliamentary democracy, fundamental human rights or the rule of law, while the way they were submitted and their content is outrageous,” he said, adding that the budget law “does not incorporate a single proposal submitted by the opposition parties”, which he branded as “a mockery of parliamentarism and democracy”.

Socialist lawmaker Zita Gurmai said ruling Fidesz had passed a law classifying “our decent, gay compatriots as paedophiles”.

The Socialists, she added, regarded the protection of children as “hugely important”, noting the bills her party had submitted last year on fighting paedophilia, child pornography and the exploitation of minors.

“However, the Socialists reject Fidesz’s centralised hate-mongering, stigmatisation and discrimination,” Gurmai said.

Antal Csárdi, deputy group leader of LMP, said that Tuesday had been “a day of lies” as parliament prepared to adopt laws built on “hatred”.

“The government wants to make the public believe that there will be a referendum on whether to bring [China’s] Fudan University to Budapest,” Csárdi said, adding that ruling Fidesz had the “single goal of serving China’s geopolitical and economic interests”.

Bence Tordai, deputy group leader of Párbeszéd, criticised Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for “stigmatising hundreds of thousands of Hungarians” and “handing state assets over to Fidesz’s buddies”.

“The shameful paedophile law is about Fidesz diverting attention from its own paedophile scandals and protecting paedofile priests,” he said.

“The prime minister is building up a parallel world in which he will be free to rule even if voters oust Fidesz in [the 2022 general election],” Tordai said.

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