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Dec 25, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

2019: The year of Hungarian families

The Family Protection Action Plan was launched by the Hungarian government in February and has since grown into an impressive success story.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán introduced the seven-point plan in his “State of the Nation” address in early February 2019. The new family policy, which came into force on July 1st, includes the following measures:

1. A preferential loan offered to every woman under the age of 40 when they first get married (“baby-expecting loan”).

2. An extended loan program to support home purchases (also known as CSOK); families are able to use the loan for the purchase of new and pre-owned homes.

3. A subsidy for purchase of a car for large families.

4. A loan repayment of up to 1 million forints for mortgage loans taken out by families with two or more children.

5. A lifetime exemption from personal income tax for women who have raised at least four children from January 1, 2020.

6. 21,000 new, nursery places in the next three years.

7. Subsidized parental leave for grandparents from January 1, 2020.

The Hungarian government’s Family Protection Action Plan aims to create opportunities in a country where young couples have expressed a desire to have more children and to build a support system by devoting 4.8 percent of GDP to supporting family and encouraging childbirth.

With this plan, Hungary boasts one of the most generous family-support systems in Europe, spending almost twice as much on family support as the OECD average.

Fortunately, it seems that hard work has paid off: 4,357 applications had arrived for the CSOK program as of October 30; 6,719 families asked for a loan repayment as of December 7; and 56,784 families applied for the baby-expecting loan, while 22,371 requested the car-purchase subsidy as of December 14.

Since 2010, 200 thousand more Hungarians live in marriages today. And without these pro-family policies, 88,000 fewer children would have been born (in a country of 10 million).

The results speak for themselves. Katalin Novák, State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs, has been invited to several countries to share the achievements of the Action Plan and just recently was elected Vice Chairman of the International Women’s Democratic Union.

Considering this impact, Balázs Orbán, parliamentary and strategic state secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, announced that the government is already working on a second Family Protection Action Plan to provide more support to youth and families in 2020.

Photo credit: lokal.hu