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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Hungary leads the world by dedicating 5% of GDP to family subsidies, says family minister

Dedicating 5.2 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to family subsidies, Hungary is the global leader in this area, Minister for Family Affairs Katalin Novák said in a Facebook video.

“This year, Hungarian families will receive more (state) subsidies than ever,” Novák said in the video. “This means that in 2021, the amount dedicated to the support of Hungarian families has exceeded five percent of the gross domestic product.”

Shortly after the migration crisis broke out in Europe in 2015, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has announced a strong focus on reversing the country’s declining demographic trend, instead of boosting the population by accepting migrants — a path that many Western countries have taken. With that goal in mind, 2018 was declared the year of the families and the ruling Fidesz party’s vice-president, Katalin Novák, was appointed minister without portfolio for family affairs.

“In monetary terms, this means 2,600 billion forints (€7.18 billion),” Novák said. “In comparison, I will say that in 2010 the amount we spent on families was 960 billion forints, meaning that now the amount dedicated to family subsidies is 2.5 times higher.”

“Our goal is to make starting new families as easy as possible, to have and raise children. This is why we increase further family subsidies every single year,” she said. “We are the first in the world. With an over 5 percent of GDP in family subsidies, that means that Hungary is a front-runner in this respect.”

Compared with an average of 1.23 children per family in 2010, this number has increased to 1.49 by 2018, and the government’s goal is an average of 2.3 children. Given that a rate of 2.1 children per family is required to keep a population stable, that goal would ensure a slow but modest increase of the country’s population which currently stands at 9.8 million.

Beyond the government’s commitment to families, Orbán (57) has five children and Novák (43) has three children.

Numerous countries have praised Hungary’s pro-family policy, with Japan recently expressing interest in emulating some of Hungary’s policies in order to boost its own population. French author and popular television commentator Eric Zemmour said last year that France should also copy Hungary’s family policies and reduce immigration.

“One sees in Europe policies like those of [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán, who have the same problem. They have established a fairly vigorous demographic policy, with plenty of [state] money distributed, dissuading people from divorce, and this is a strong policy of persuasion.”

“Since the 90s and 2000s people have been praising the individual, feminism, and gender theory. The dominant ideology destabilizes traditional benchmarks. And the lengthening of abortion periods is a problem and all of this leads to a drop in the birth rate,” he said.

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