Hungarian parliament passes new law to promote larger families

Viktor Orban, Hungary Prime Minister Photo: politics.hu
Viktor Orban, Hungary Prime Minister Photo: politics.hu

The Hungarian parliament on Monday, passed a new law designed to encourage more people to have children by offering them interest-free loans and tax incentives.

Under the measures, announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban in February, married couples where the woman was under 40 could receive an interest-free loan of 10 million forints (35,000 dollars).

According to the prime minister, at least one of the spouses must be employed, and both must have no criminal record and no tax liability.

“Repayment of the loan will be suspended for three years on the birth of their first child.

“After the second child, one third of the loan will be waived, and after the third, the entire loan will be written off.

“However, if the couples do not have a child within five years, they must pay interest retroactively,’’ Mr Orban stressed.

At the vote, it was not only the governing Fidesz party that voted for the law, but also a clear majority of the opposition.

On launching the policy in February, Mr Orban said the solution to Hungary’s declining birth rate was not migration; and persuaded people to have more children.

Hungary’s birth rate in 2016 was 1.45 children per couple.

(dpa/NAN)

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