Measures currently being implemented by the Fidesz-led government are compromising the country’s future, Gordon Bajnai, a former prime minister who now heads the Patriotism and Progress Public Policy Foundation, a think-tank, told a gathering of local businessmen in Debrecen.
The centre-right government of Viktor Orban is not pursuing a stabilising, sober economic policy but is “plunging into the depths” instead, according to local daily Hajdu-bihari Naplo’s report of Bajnai’s speech to the Naplo TOP 100 Klub.
Bajnai, who led a largely technocratic administration backed by the Socialist Party in the year before Fidesz swept into power in 2010, said the Orban was pursuing a contradictory economic policy, trying to both cut taxes and avoid austerity, which would result in a 500-billion-forint hole in the budget.
“The expenditure side of the budget has flown away, and the response is unorthodox economic policy whose point is to play for time and put off the measures every half year,” he said, adding that the prospective deal with the International Monetary Fund was not about seeking a solution but about creating delay.
He said half of the 3,000 billion forints of private pension funds transferred to the state had been spent on reducing debt, while the other half of it has been “burnt up” by the budget deficit. He said by levying additional taxes and the bank tax Hungary had tried the patience of foreign investors who are needed for long-term progress.