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Parliament approves 2018 budget

Hungarian lawmakers approved the 2018 budget yesterday, on the last day of the spring session, with 127 MPs voting in favor and 62 against, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The bill targets revenue of HUF 18.751 trillion and expenditures of HUF 20.112 tln, leaving a deficit of HUF 1.360 tln.

The deficit is over the HUF 1.1664 tln gap targeted for 2017. The 2018 deficit target as a percentage of GDP is 2.4%, calculated with european union accounting rules.

Operating revenue and expenditures will balance out, while investments will be responsible for the deficit.

The 2018 budget assumes that GDP growth will be at 4.3%, inflation at 3% and that government debt will fall, Minister for National Economy Minister Mihály Varga said at a press conference following the vote in Parliament.

Varga noted that only modifications not endangering the budgetʼs stability were accepted before the vote. MPs submitted some 1,156 modification proposals to the bill.

The budget was designed with extra care given to help people establishing homes and families raising children, he added. The budget allocates HUF 226 bln of expenditure for home subsidies.

With employment is rising, the government will redesign its "fostered" or state work program and lower the funds allocated to the scheme, while providing help and incentives for jobseekers to enter the private market, the minister added.