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Finance minister says government's 2010 budget is sustainable

Finance Minister Péter Oszkó said on a television program evening that the government's 2010 budget is sustainable, maintaining that government job-preservation initiatives will moderate the rise in unemployment next year, even if they can not halt its growth entirely.

Rejecting allegations from Tibor Navracsics, the faction leader of the main opposition party Fidesz, that the government's 2010 budget is inadequate, lacking the means to generate economic growth and temper unemployment for more than four or five months, Oszkó remarked that next year's budget contains sufficient sector-specific risk provisions to help employment and the health service while the general budget reserve should remain intact.

The general reserve of the budget will be more than HUF 200 billion next year, larger than this year, and this should provide adequate buffer in order to reach the deficit target even if tax revenues are smaller than planned.

The finance minister noted that the government's 2010 budget calls for a HUF 13 billion (€47.52 million) increase in funding for its job-preservation program to HUF 110 billion, adding that in tandem with tax modifications aimed at spurring employment, this program would soften the rise in Hungary's unemployment rate next year.

Navracsics commented that the government should first impose austerity measures upon itself, implementing measures aimed at reducing corruption in the public sphere. (MTI – Econews)