The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, has announced that women in Hungary with four or more children will never have to pay income tax. He has unveiled these measures in order to boost the birth rate. He said that this is Hungary’s answer to the challenges rather than immigration.

Orban stated that this was part of a measure to tackle the shrinking population without depending on immigrants. The Hungarian Prime Minister announced a seven-point “Family Protection Action Plan”, designed to promote marriage and families. This is not the first time Orban (who has five children) has tried to bring up such incentives. Earlier , he had introduced a measure that offered families reduced taxes for every new child.

The country’s population is falling by 32,000 every year, and the average number of children a Hungarian woman will have in her lifetime is 1.45 – below the EU average of 1.58

Orban said that many other countries in Europe chose to tackle falling birth rates via immigration. He said: “For every missing child, there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine.”

He added: “Hungarian people think differently. We do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children.”

Young couples will be offered interest-free loans of up to 10m forint ($36000 i.e. Rs 25, 43,029) and they will get cancelled once they have three children. At the same time as Orban’s speech, 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside his Budapest office to protest against government policies controlling the number of overtime hours employees can be asked to work.

The government’s plan also includes a pledge to create 21,000 nursery places over the next three years, an extra $2.5 billion to be spent on the healthcare system, housing support and financial support from the state for people buying seven-seat vehicles.

In 2017, 94,600 live births were registered in Hungary and 131,900 deaths were registered, equating to a population decline of just over 37,000 people, Eurostat data shows.

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Sonakshi Goel is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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