The Hungarian government spends around 5 percent of GDP on families, more than any other European country, a government official said at a Mexican family conference held online on Thursday.
Its spending now is two-and-a-half times more than what was budgeted for families in 2010, Katalin Novák, the state secretary for family and youth affairs of the Ministry of Human Resources, said.
The demographic crisis is a serious challenge for Hungary, she noted, adding that in 2010 the government decided to create a families-friendly country with a focus on childbearing and with the appropriate financial support structures.
Novák said this policy was under attack in western and northern parts of Europe by countries that preferred to improve their demographics through immigration.
But, she added, the last ten years was proof that economic and family policies could go hand-in-hand as family policy “is not just an expense but an investment, too”.
She noted tax breaks for families and the income exemptions for mothers with four children among the government’s measures, as well as the family home-creation allowance (CSOK), an allowance for expectant mothers and the creation of new creches. Other measures include grants for buying large family cars and free textbooks and school meals, among others.
“We believe that value-based … policies have the potential to reverse negative demographic trends in the long term,” she said.