Hungary’s legal changes taking effect on Jan. 1
Hungary faces several legal changes as of Jan. 1, 2018, including an increase in general child-care benefits as well as child-care benefits for university students or graduates, added support for mortgage holders and the option of relief on student loan repayments.
As of today, eligible families are entitled to a maximum of gross 193,200 forints (EUR 622) in child-care benefits.
Female university students or graduates are eligible for an extra year of child support up to the second child’s second birthday. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s programme will be eligible for 96,600 forints in support and students enrolled in a master’s programme for 126,350 forints.
Tax benefits for families with two children rise, leaving them with an extra 5,000 forints of monthly disposable income.
The prime minister announced last May that the government will pay off 1 million forints of a mortgage after every third and subsequent child and forgive half the student loans of women with two children and the entire debt of those with three or more children. There is no upper age limit for children born earlier so the mortgage debt can be reduced even if the older child has already turned 18 years old.
The new year also marks the start of a new scheme dubbed Umbilical Cord, targeted at Hungarians whose children are born abroad.
Families who fall into this category will be eligible for a one-time maternity allowance of 64,125 forints as well as a “baby bond”.
Benefits also rise for Hungarians caring for minors with disabilities. The basic carer’s allowance rises by 5 percent and families who have been caring for children with prolonged illnesses for at least 20 years will be eligible for a new kind of benefit.
Under the amended penal code, sex crimes against children below the age of 12 are punishable by 10-20 years imprisonment.
The law on administrative procedures, which concerns legal disputes between public administration bodies and private entities, also comes into effect.
A new civil procedural code also enters into force.
The justice minister has said that the new procedural code aims to speed up lawsuits. It also sets new rules for class action lawsuits.