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Let me tell you the story of an average, young, Hungarian woman, Anna, who is 28 years old, earned her university degree in law four years ago, has been in a loving relationship with 32 year-old Peter for three years and lives in Debrecen, a major city in northeast Hungary.
Europe’s demographic decline comes as no surprise to anyone even superficially acquainted with current birthrates around the continent. Although some in western Europe have already decided that immigration offers the only way to make up for the loss, the Orbán Government pursues another solution -- make it easier for the nation’s own citizens to have bigger families – and in this national consultation, we’re asking citizens for their input on how to do that.
Since its inauguration, Hungary’s government has always paid special attention to the protection and support of families raising children. This is why we have introduced family tax benefits and doubled the overall family support compared to its level in 2010. Now we have the opportunity through further provisions to support Hungarian families.
Minister Novák said the goal of the government is to ensure that raising children should not be an obstacle to engaging in employment, while engaging in employment should not be an obstacle to the decision of raising more children
“We must examine why we don’t have enough children and what it is that keeps young people from having children; what are the obstacles in their way, and how to help them overcome them,” Katalin Novák, state secretary for Families and Youth, said
Hungary’s economic growth -- 2 percent in 2016 and forecast to grow to 4.3 percent in 2017 – translates into an anticipated 1 trillion additional HUF (3.3 billion EUR) for the 2018 budget. Public debt is expected to drop by some 2 percent, and the deficit is expected to be 2.4 percent.
A nation’s strength lies in its people. Declining demographic trends throughout Europe pose a worrisome problem, including in Hungary. The trend has been declining into a vicious circle for decades and governments have struggled to break it. Recent demographic statistics in Hungary, however, show that with some ingenuity – like housing incentives and other breaks for families with children – a carefully selected mix of family policies can make a difference.
“The budget for home construction is expected to double to 211 billion forints next year, while 869.4 billion forints, an added 4 percent, could be available for family financial support,” said Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novak.
As the cost of raising children increases, Hungary’s government has singled out soaring housing prices as a major hindrance to families who want to own their home and have more children. To ease the financial burden, the government has passed legislation that provides support for home ownership.
In an effort to support families with children and counter negative demographic trends, the Hungarian government announced the innovative Family Housing Allowance Program, or CSOK, which would offer up to 20 million HUF of assistance per family, specifically toward home ownership. Together with a significant reduction in the value-added tax rate on newly built homes, cutting it from 27 to 5 percent, the program offers considerable financial assistance to young couples to become homeowners.
The State will grant HUF 10 million non-repayable aid for the purchase of new homes to young couples who agree to have three children within ten years, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office announced at the press conference Governmentinfo 35 which he held jointly with Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács.