In his “state of the nation” address at the Castle Garden Bazaar in Budapest on February 10, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced a seven-point family protection action plan. The Prime Minister said that Hungarians once more have confidence in their future, and national unity has been created on the issue of families.
The Prime Minister recalled that on the issue of families national unity has been created: 1.35 million people participated in the national consultation on families, and 80 per cent supported the Government’s family policy. He observed that over the past nine years financial support for families has been doubled, and it is now the highest in Europe on a pro rata basis. Mr. Orbán announced a seven-point family protection action plan, saying that “this – not immigration – is the response of the Hungarian people”.
1. He said that the Government will introduce an allowance for young married couples aimed at encouraging them to have children. Every woman under the age of forty who gets married for the first time will be eligible for a preferential loan of up to HUF 10 million. Repayment of the loan will be suspended for three years after the birth of a child, and for another three years after a second. In addition, one third of the principal of the loan will be written off after the birth of a second child. If a third child is born, the remaining debt will be cancelled in its entirety.
2. Preferential loans available under the already established family housing benefit scheme will be extended. At present families with two children can receive low interest loans of HUF 10 million for the purchase of new homes, while families with three or more children have access to corresponding preferential loans of HUF 15 million. In the future, families with two or more children will also be able to use such loans for the purchase of existing properties.
3. Up until now the Government has provided mortgage repayment relief of one million forints for large families when a third child is born, and a further one million forints for each subsequent child. From now on the Government will provide this relief of one million forints when a second child is born, a further HUF four million for the birth of a third child, and one million forints after the birth of every subsequent child.
4. He said that women who have given birth to and raised four or more children will be exempt from personal income tax for the rest of their lives.
5. He also announced the introduction of a car purchase programme for large families. The Government will provide families raising at least three children with a non-repayable grant of HUF 2.5 million for the purchase of new cars with at least seven seats.
6. Mr. Orbán went on to say that universal crèche care will be made available. Over a period of three years, 21,000 new places will be created in crèches: 10,000 this year, 5,000 in 2020 and 6,000 in 2021. This means that by 2022 every family will be able to place their young children in crèche facilities.
7. The seventh point of the action plan is the introduction of childcare payments for grandparents: if parents so decide, grandparents will be able to receive childcare payments instead of them. He also announced the modernisation of language teaching in secondary schools, which will enable every secondary school student to attend two-week language courses abroad in the summer breaks of their 9th and 11th years in education.