WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Prime Minister Viktor Orban disclosed a plan of action to help promote Hungary’s declining birth rate and reduce immigration during his State of the Union speech.
- Dubbed as the “Family Protection Action Plan”, Orban gave out incentives to promote marriage and families including waivers for income tax and subsidies for bigger families.
- Hungary’s birth rates have continued to decline, even falling below the EU average of 9.9 in 1,000 residents.
In a bid to improve declining birth rate in Hungary, as well as decreasing immigration, the nation’s prime minister has urged women to raise more than four children in exchange of waiving their personal income tax for life.
A seven-point “Family Protection Action Plan” that promotes marriage and families was presented by Prime Minister Viktor Orban during his annual State of the Union address.
The ‘action plan’ included subsidies for large families to buy larger cars, as well as loan programs for families with at least two children to help them buy homes. All women under 40 are qualified for preferential loans provided they get married first.
“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 told Reuters.
“But we do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children. And this is Hungary’s answer rather than immigration,” Orban said while referring to the incentives program.
Aside from vowing to spend more on the country’s healthcare system which includes building 21,000 daycare centers, grandparents can also be qualified to look after young children and receive a childcare fee.
Hungary, like another conservative, nationalist governments in Europe, is worried about migration and its decreasing birth rate.
While Ireland, Sweden, the U.K., and France have healthy birth rates, Hungary has birth rates below the EU average. According to Eurostat data, the crude birth rate in 2017 was 9.7 for every 1,000 residents, which is below the EU average of 9.9 per 1,000 residents. Data from mid-2018 also shows a continuing decline. In 2017, Hungary registered 94,600 live births. In the same year, 131,900 deaths were registered, meaning a population decline of just more than 37,000 people.