Orban’s government is not backing down: it invested 420 billion in sports last year

If there is something that unshakably characterizes the activities of the Orbán government since 2010, it is the priority in the treatment of sports. In view of the fact that he has elevated the region to a strategic sector, there is nothing surprising, although it is indisputable that in certain situations it would have been more appropriate for him to show some restraint with regard to spending. But in the 11 years that have passed since the establishment of the second Orban government, we have not seen an example of this. In fact, almost every year, the Cabinet has pumped more and more money into the region, and even the coronavirus epidemic could not stop this practice.

As our regular readers have become so accustomed to, we regularly skim through not only budget bill proposals, but also final accounts to recap exactly how much money the government is spending on sport. This cannot be ignored this time either, and we can tell you from the start that the government hasn’t been shy about spending money on sports in 2021 either.

According to our summary, Orbán’s government spent 272.6 billion Swiss francs directly from last year’s budget for sports-related purposes.

Due to the change in the budget structure a few years ago, expenditures are no longer “frozen”, but are reported broken down into operational and cumulative parts for each appropriation, so that we can also get an idea of ​​how the HUF 272.6 billion has been distributed. Well, the ratio is roughly equal: 55 percent of the expenditure (HUF 149.3 billion) served for operational purposes, and 45 percent (HUF 123.3 billion) appeared as cumulative expenses. The latter can easily be described as a type of investment or development.

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There was, is, and probably will be money for sports under all circumstances. Photo: Pixabay

Looking at the biggest elements, it can be concluded that competitive sports are at the fore here (too). We also feature the top five sports expenses of the past year:

  • HUF 75.9 billion has been allocated to the “preparation and implementation of the new multifunctional sports and events hall in Budapest”.
  • $37.6 billion was spent on “support tasks related to the implementation of sports development concepts.”
  • $31.9 billion has been spent on national sports centers.

A large amount of government funds, more than 10 billion, for example, has been allocated for the development of sports facilities (28.4 billion forints), the strategy of a prominent international sporting event (17.5 billion forints) and motorsports (15.6 billion).

By examining last year’s expenditures, it becomes clear that sports facilities still consume a lot of public money, and planning, preparation and implementation did not lose their momentum last year either. It is true that it is important to note that these are almost entirely investments that have already been decided upon or are just beginning. Get budget resources without the need for completeness

  • handball workshop program,
  • Nyiregyhaza Stadium Project,
  • The multifunctional hall in Kisvarda,
  • Tatabánya Multifunctional Sports Hall,
  • Karkaj Sports Complex and Gymnasium,
  • and Katalin Kovács Kayak-Canoe Sports Academy.

Sports facilities were so crucial to last year’s sports budget that our total 48.3 percent of the 272.6 billion HUF of direct spending was used to build some kind of stadium or sports hall.

Team sports are still in the background

Every year, a big question is raised about what kind of emphasis government places on team sports that raise health awareness and improve community health. This would only be welcome because it is the only guarantee that the government explanation I gave a few years ago will be met. The ever-increasing spending on sports has been justified by the fact that every fort spent on sports results in a saving of two forts in healthcare. However, the justification would be complete if it was added that the HUFs spent on team sports result in such savings. Tens of thousands of multi-functional stadiums and arenas can only increase the community’s activity and willingness to practice sports.

Well, you don’t have to worry about sports spending resulting in savings, since recreational and mass sports enjoyed tight budgetary resources last year, too. In addition, he also came to the area based on a few legal surnames:

  • 2.3 billion was spent on sports stadium investments last year,
  • The government has allocated $5.5 billion to support tasks related to promoting student sports and recreational sports,
  • The development of the Karcag Sports Center received 76.2 million.

In addition, there have been some funds that can often increase children’s love of sports and ensure regular exercise of sports activities, which is undoubtedly a goal that must be supported, but these investments can only lead to savings in the health fund in the long run. these:

  • 9.2 billion gold for the development of kindergartens,
  • just over 7 billion HUF to develop a gymnasium,
  • The government has spent 1.3 billion to develop the infrastructure of kindergartens, schools and youth,
  • Approximately $1.1 billion has been spent on the Hungarian Village program’s kindergarten sports sub-program, Iranian Field.

In total, HUF 23.1 billion was spent on team sports and providing sporting opportunities for children, accounting for 8.4 percent of the total sports budget for last year.

Yes, but with all this, government spending on sports is still incomplete, because so far we have considered only direct budget expenditures. However, since 2011, another source of public funds has flowed into the sport and represents a significant amount: this is the support of Tao. This is the amount that corporations do not pay into state coffers from corporate tax, and instead remit it to the various sports associations and organizations, supporting the achievement of their specific goals in their sport development programmes.

After the initial “concession” of a few tens of billions of forints, the subsidy program “framework” rebounded dramatically within a few years, with the government in 2016 conceding more than a hundred billion forints in Tao’s name. According to the final accounts of the budget, Tao’s subsidy was not less than 100 billion forints last year, not so much that the government gave up the second largest amount since subsidies began in favor of sports. In fact, the organizations involved received more than this only in 2020, the year of the coronavirus pandemic and its emergence in Hungary, 176.2 billion. Last year’s support is about $30 billion less than this.

In 2021, HUF 147.4 billion in revenue was lost from the budget under the legal title of the Tao.

Of this amount, 139 billion is the corporate tax provided by companies, and 8.4 billion is the amount spent by banks from the special tax on financial institutions.

And if we add this to the direct budget expenditures, we can talk about a total of 420 billion HUF, which the Orbán government has directed to sports through various channels.

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