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Prime Minister Offers New Incentives for More Hungarian Babies

Orban offers demographic growth strategy as alternative to the ‘new internationalism’ and pro-migration policies of Brussels and ‘money men.’

11 February 2019

In a state of the nation address yesterday in Budapest, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced a seven-point package of tax breaks and other incentives for families to have more children, according to Al Jazeera.

 

These range from a lifetime personal income-tax exemption for women who give birth to and raise at least four children, to a subsidy of 2.5 million forints (around $8,800) toward the purchase of a seven-seat vehicle for families with three or more children. A low-interest loan of 10 million forints for women under the age of 40 marrying for the first time would also be on offer.

 

 

The policies tie in with the Hungarian prime minister’s dismissal of immigration as a viable way of boosting the country’s population, which has dropped dramatically since the fall of communism.

 

“There are fewer and fewer children born in Europe. For the West, the answer [to that challenge] is immigration. For every missing child there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine,” Orban said, Reuters reports. “But we do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children.”


While such measures might come at a cost of several tens of billions of forints, they were “unlikely to produce any drastic increase in the budget deficit,” Zoltan Torok, an analyst at the Hungarian unit of Raiffeisen Bank, told Reuters. Their source could be general reserves or surplus revenues in the 2019 budget, Gergely Gulyas, Orban’s chief of staff, said according to the same source. 

 

 

  • A recently released report from U.S.-based international human rights group Freedom House has downgraded Hungary in its country rankings from “free” to “partially free,” because of “sustained attacks on the country’s democratic institutions by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, which has used its parliamentary supermajority to impose restrictions on or assert control over the opposition, the media, religious groups, academia, NGOs, the courts, asylum seekers, and the private sector since 2010.” 

 

  • The net result was “one of the most dramatic declines ever charted by Freedom House within the European Union,” the report says.

 

  • As Orban was giving his address, protesters gathered in the Hungarian capital for another rally that was part of a series of manifestations against his policies, The Guardian writes.

 

  • The protests started in December, sparked by the passage of what critics have called a “slave law” increasing employer rights, and the creation of an administrative court system under government control.

Compiled by Ioana Caloianu

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