Hungary’s Family Protection Action Plan: It’s coming July 1

This week the Hungarian National Assembly approved a series of bills aimed to lay the foundation for Hungary’s new family policy, clearing the way for the first four measures to come into force on July 1st.

Hungary’s new policy stands out for a number of reasons, not least because it devotes 4.8 percent of GDP on programs to support family and encourage childbirth.

In his “State of the Nation” address in February, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced a seven-point family protection action plan, which is “Hungary’s response to demographic decline.”

The new seven-point family policy includes [1] preferential loan offers to every woman under age 40 when they first get married. The [2] loan program to support home purchase (also known as CSOK) will be extended and families will also be able to use the loan for purchase of resale homes.

The initiative also includes a [3] subsidy for car purchase for large families; and a [4] loan repayment up to 1 million forints of the mortgage loan taken out by families with two or more children.

The prime minister also announced that [5] women who have raised at least four children will receive a life-time exemption from personal income tax and that [6] 21,000 new crèche places will be established over three years. Moreover, [7] grandparents will also become eligible to to receive subsidized parental leave, similar to maternity or paternity leave, when they are looking after young children.

Since the announcement, the plan has garnered its fair share of international attention, some critical and much of it very positive. In any case, it reflects one of the top priorities of the Orbán Governments since taking office in 2010.

“For us, family is the basic unit of society,” said State Secretary Katalin Novák in a recent interview. “Traditional families represent a value we intend to defend not only in Hungary but internationally as well.”