Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at the 4th Budapest Demographic Summit that, in his opinion, the West did not want to survive. According to Orban, migration cannot compensate for demographic processes. According to him, it is necessary to make the state friendly to the family.
Orban said that while some civilizations are able to reproduce, the West is not, “it just doesn’t want to survive.” In his opinion, some politicians do not see this as a problem, and others are trying to solve the demographic problem with migration. The latter, according to Orban, do not take into account the cultural aspect, although in Europe it is the most important dimension of migration. “Here, with us, migration is a question of identity,” he said.
The Hungarian prime minister expressed his conviction that the country only functioned well if the people living there shared similar values on the most important issues. He judged that if there is no such thing, the nation is irreversibly disintegrating.
Orban: make motherhood an economic benefit again
According to him, it is necessary to make the state friendly to the family. “Women have already been integrated into the labor market, which is a huge boost to the economy,” he said, stressing, however, that “motherhood should be made an economic benefit again.”
“It’s very difficult,” he admitted. He emphasized that it is easy to spend money on supporting families, but it is not enough, because the economy must function at the same time. – We want women to be able to choose. Let them work if they want to, but let them not be forced to work, he said.
Orban’s government implements a wide pro-family policy, which is constantly enriched. In 2015, for example, family housing allowance was introduced – one-time non-returnable financial support for the purchase, construction or extension of a house or flat. It is available to spouses, partners or single parents with one or more children. The amount of support depends on the number of children raised and ranges from HUF 600,000 to 10 million (PLN 7.7-128,000).
Another benefit is the family tax allowance, which reduces the tax base by 10-33 thousand forints (PLN 127-420) per month per child, depending on the number of children. In addition, the state helps, inter alia, families paying off their mortgage loans by taking over part of the repayments, starting from the birth of the second child. From January 2020, mothers with four children were also exempt from PIT for life.
This week, Orban announced that the Hungarian government will return the income tax paid by them this year to parents bringing up children to the level of the average salary.
Hungary’s population has been declining for many years. In the past pandemic year, the natural decline in population increased. Although 3.4 percent more children were born than in the previous year, the mortality rate increased by 7.7 percent. It was the highest in the last months of 2020, i.e. at the height of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2020, the country had a population of 9.73 million.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / SZILARD KOSZTICSAK