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Christian Democrats: Demographic trends define ‘fate of nation’

Christian Democrats: Demographic trends define ‘fate of nation’

Budapest (MTI) – Demographic trends “will determine the fate of the Hungarian nation”, the parliamentary leader of the co-ruling Christian Democrats (KDNP) told a press briefing on Tuesday.

Péter Harrach noted that Budapest would host the World Congress of Families between May 24 and 27, which will also feature a forum on demographics.

Speaking of Hungary’s demographic situation, Harrach said that the fertility rate had dropped to 1.2-1.3 children per woman [of childbearing age] a few years ago. Although the tendency turned and the rate is now at 1.5, it is still far from the 2.1 needed for society to reproduce. The number of marriages also grew by 12 percent, showing that the government’s measures to support families have been successful, he said.

The 2018 budget has allocated 1900 billion forints (EUR 6.1bn) to family support, which is a 140 billion rise from this year, Harrach said. Family support includes funding child care and child safety services as well as hiking the minimum wage, he said. The government has earmarked 80 billion forints for subsidising free meals for children and will further expand access to free school books, he said.

A further 316 billion forints have been allocated to family tax discounts, which will completely balance out tax duties in 130,000 families, he said.

Photo: Daily News Hungary

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