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State Audit Office finds Ft 218 bln overshoot of 2004 budget gap target

The delayed refunds of value-added tax brought about a Ft 2.9 billion shortfall in Hungary's budget last year, State Audit Office (ÁSZ) Chairman Árpád Kovács told a press conference on Thursday. Hungary's budget deficit in 2004 exceeded the revised target by Ft 218.2 billion and reached Ft 904.5 billion. Revenues exceeded the revised target by Ft 155 billion, totalling Ft 5,333 billion and the spending target was overshot by Ft 63 billion, bringing total spending to Ft 6,237.6 billion, Kovács said. Compared to targets, VAT revenues came in Ft 177.1 billion lower, the shortfall of personal income tax revenues totalled Ft 121 billion and corporate tax brought Ft 11.2 billion less than planned. The total revenue shortfall reached nearly Ft 317 billion.
The ÁSZ said that the order to delay VAT refunds in the second half of last year was an “unprepared, unjustified and professionally wrong" decision that also affected the GFS position of the 2005 budget negatively.