Government reshuffles 2016 budget chapters

Telco

The government has decided to reshuffle HUF 306.9 billion in spending appropriations among the various chapters of the 2016 Budget Act, with churches and Hungarians living in diaspora communities receiving the biggest extra funding, a government resolution published in the official gazette Magyar Közlöny on Saturday shows, as reported by state news agency MTI.

Portions of the extra funds are being rechanneled from original budget appropriations for priority road projects, or from a capital increase originally planned at the company responsible for the Paks nuclear plant expansion (where the pace of development has been slower than earlier planned), or from the national employment fund (where spending, mostly on fostered workers, was less than projected).

Another portion of the rechanneled resources derives from ministriesʼ stability reserves, which can be spent or rechanneled based on government decisions in the last three months of the year.  The reshuffle affects 1.8% of the budget spending total, MTI-Econews calculated.  

The single biggest extra, of HUF 118.5 billion, goes towards churches, most likely for public educational and health programs and investments. The next highest extra funding is the HUF 27.1 bln increase in appropriations in the 2016 budget for the Gábor Bethlen Fund, supporting institutions of Hungarians living outside of Hungary. The original budget appropriations for these purposes were just HUF 1.9 bln and HUF 157.5 bln, respectively.   

Competitive sports will get HUF 10.9 bln extra (rather than just HUF 1.3 bln), and higher education HUF 3.9 bln (an addition to budgeted support of HUF 159.6 bln).   

Narrow-gauge railways, a new 2016 budget item, will get HUF 10 bln, while the HUF 160 bln budgeted for priority road projects is reduced by HUF 40.8 bln.   

The biggest single cut, meanwhile, is a HUF 80.8 bln reduction in the money to be spent this year on a capital increase at MVM Paks II Atomerőmű Fejlesztő, the company responsible for the Paks nuclear plantʼs expansion, for which HUF 113.1 bln had originally been earmarked in the 2016 budget.   

Support for a national Olympic center investment project was also cut, by HUF 59.8 bln, although its support had already risen from an original HUF 35.9 bln. At the same time, funding for individual sports projects has risen by just less than HUF 40 bln.   

Another project with a big, HUF 40.8 bln funding reduction is the National Employment Fund, where budget support is more than halved from just below HUF 80 bln.   

An amendment of the General Government Act passed in spring 2016 gave the government the right to reshuffle funding among budget chapters without prior parliamentary approval.

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