Sunday, February 10, 2019

Hungary's Incentives for More Babies

Yet another country's attempt to stem its falling population. Hungary's population is falling by 32,000 a year, and women there have fewer children than the EU average. The average number of children a Hungarian woman will have in her lifetime (fertility rate) is 1.45. This puts the country below the EU average of 1.58. France has the highest fertility rate in the EU - 1.96 - and Spain the lowest at 1.33. All below replacement rates. 

Hungarian women with four children or more will be exempted for life from paying income tax. Also part of the measures is that young couples will be offered interest-free loans of 10 million forint ($36,000), to be cancelled once they have three children. A pledge to create 21,000 nursery places over the next three years. An extra $2.5bn to be spent on the country's healthcare system.Housing subsidies. State support for those buying seven-seat vehicles.

It was a way of defending Hungary's future without depending on immigration, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a right-wing nationalist who particularly opposes immigration by Muslims, said.

Orban said that "for the West", the answer to falling birth rates in Europe was immigration: "For every missing child there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine. Hungarian people think differently," he said. "We do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children."
Such social engineering policies tried in other countries have had minimum effect in reversing a falling population but time will tell whether Hungarian women in control of their bodies will respond to monetary inducements to become baby-producing machines.

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