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2007 budget targets Ft 32.2 bln social security funds deficit

The 2007 budget draft submitted to Parliament by the government on Tuesday targets a Ft 32.2 billion deficit in the social security funds. The health fund accounts for the entire deficit.

The budget proposal targets revenue from contributions of Ft 3,910.2 billion, 11.7% more than in 2006, including revenue from healthcare contributions worth Ft 111.474 billion and guarantees and contributions from the state worth Ft 776.377 billion, practically unchanged from this year. On the expenditure side are old-age pensions of Ft 1,456.103 billion and other pensions worth Ft 580.069 billion. Family subsidies will account for expenditures of Ft 309.565 billion. Annual bonuses for pensioners, equivalent to an entire month's pension, will account for Ft 188.619. billion.

All pension-related expenditures are set to come to Ft 2,543.356 billion, 13% more than in 2006. Pensions will be raised based on a 1.7% average wage increase and inflation of 6.2%. The maximum daily pension contribution will be set at Ft 18,490. Combined expenditures of the health care fund will reach Ft 1,668.632 billion in 2007, 15% more than in 2006. Included in this spending are cash subsidies for maternity and child leave. Expenditures related to in-kind subsidies will be Ft 1,133.105 billion, 11.6% more than in 2006. These include expenditures for patient referrals of Ft 511.760 billion, and expenditures related to drug subsidies worth Ft 301.804 billion, practically unchanged from 2006.

Ft 18.1 billion will be available for special drugs and Ft 45 billion will be put into reserves to cover drug subsidies. Finance Minister János Veres said the Ft 364.148 billion drug price subsidy does not include contributions from drug producers and dealers. Under another bill, any overshoot of the drug fund will be covered by both the National Health Fund (OEP) and drugmakers. The 2007 budget projects revenue of Ft 22 billion from new token fees for doctors' visits and hospital stays. (Mti-Eco)