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Econ ministry says budget info requested by Fiscal Council ready

Hungary's National Economy Ministry has prepared the background information and impact studies requested by the Fiscal Council as promised by August 20, the ministry said in response to MTI on Tuesday.

The ministry and the Fiscal Council has had a high-level consultation on the documents, and decided to held a further meeting, the ministry said. In a resolution dated July 16, the Fiscal Council requested supplemental information as well as impact studies on the effects of amendments proposed to the 2013 budget bill and of the new tax laws from the economy minister.

The Council stated it has to issue a new opinion on the bill which has materially changed between June 15, when first submitted to parliament, and July 12, when parliament approved its key figures. The Fiscal Council specifically mentioned in the July 16 resolution the amendments made to the financial transaction duty (which was extended to the National Bank of Hungary and to the Treasury), and the planned introduction of a small company tax and other corporate and payroll tax changes as part of a HUF 300 billion job protection plan announced early July. It also noted that the amended budget bill foresees extra revenue of more than half percent of GDP from efficiency improvements to tax collection without detailing the underlying measures.

In its opinion issued early June on the draft 2013, the Council said it saw no reason for disagreement with the draft – back then still on the government's desk – from the point of view of its credibility and its practical implementation, but proposed the government draw up an alternative, less favorable macroeconomic projection and increase reserves in the budget because of growth risks.