Hungary has scrapped personal income tax for mothers of four or more children and added a slew of other family-friendly benefits in hopes of sparking a baby boom.
“We need Hungarian children,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orban during his state of the nation speech Sunday.
Orban, who has taken a hard line “zero tolerance” approach toward immigration, said the new initiatives are meant to “ensure the survival of the Hungarian nation.”
Other perks aimed at reversing Hungary’s population decline include: an $8,825 subsidy toward the purchase of a seven-seat car for families with three or more children and a low-interest loan of $35,300 for women under 40 who marry for the first time.
“This is Hungarians’ answer, not immigration,” said Orban, who was elected to a third consecutive term in April.
Hungary has a population of 9.7 million but that number is dropping by 32,000 a year, according to BBC News. Women there have an average of 1.45 children — lower than the average in the European Union of 1.58.
Orban announced other initiatives to help kick start fertility rates. He promised to create 21,000 nursery schools in the next three years, spend nearly $2.5 billion in health care and expand a loan program for families with at least two children to help them become homeowners.
In his speech, the prime minister also turned his attention to the European Parliament elections in May, accusing EU leaders of wanting to fill the continent with migrants — most of them Muslim.
“We have to understand that the European peoples have come to a historical crossroads,” Orban said. “Those who decide in favor of immigration and migrants, no matter why they do so, are in fact creating a country with a mixed population.”
With Post Wires