Hungary is happy to support larger families and is doing so with its tax laws. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has illustrated several measures to help increase the birth rate. These measures are intended to reduce immigration while increasing the country’s declining population.
Family Protection Action Plan
This is where the “Family Protection Action Plan” comes in and with a seven-point process. In his State of the Nation address, Orbán discussed the plan in depth. Women with four or more children receive waivers on income tax for the duration of their life, as well as subsidies for larger families. In addition, another roll-out for families with a minimum of two children is extended loan programs that help people buy homes. In addition, women under 40 can get a preferred loan when getting married.
More to Come
There is expected to be a boost in the healthcare system in Hungary as the government has committed to building 21,000 crèches. To further aid families, Hungary may give a childcare fee to grandparents taking care of young children when their parents are unavailable to care for them.
Orbán is reported to have said, ‘There are fewer and fewer children coming into the world in Europe. In the West, they answer this with immigration. For every child not born, another comes in, so the population is okay.”
Orbán has been quoted as saying, “Instead of just numbers, we want Hungarian children.” He said this when he first announced the incentives. He has referred to the plan as Hungary’s answer to immigration. Rather than promoting immigration, it promotes Hungarian children.
A long-standing critic of immigration, Orbán also disapproved of the Hungarian government’s role in the European Union controversy. Specifically, this tackles Hungary and its other eastern neighbors refusing asylum during the 2015 migration crisis.
The government of Hungary, with Orbán’s Fidesz party at the helm, has been said to backtrack on core democratic values, media freedoms, minority rights, and the rule of law, potentially resulting in punitive action from the EU with Poland. This is from MEPs or Parliament members voting for disciplinary procedures for these countries because they are accused of breaching the core values of the bloc.
Along with other conservative European countries, the government of Hungary is worried about decreasing birth rates and migration. The latest data from 2018 shows birth rates declining all across Europe. As of 2017, there were 5.1 million babies born, which is 90,000 less than the previous year.
Birth rates remained steady and climbing in France, the U.K., Sweden, and Ireland. The lowest rates were recorded in Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy. The Hungarian birth rate is below the EU average, falling at about 9.7 per 1,000 people, where the average is closer to 9.9 per 1,000 people. The 2017 statistics show a decline in the birth rate of just a little more than 37,000 people.
With these incentives in place, Orbán and the Hungarian government aim to encourage Hungarian citizens to have larger families, so an increase in population will come from the Hungarian population rather than immigration.
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