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Hungary tries for baby boom with tax breaks and loan forgiveness

February 12, 2019 5:24 am

Hungarian women with four children or more will be exempted for life from paying income tax, the prime minister has said, unveiling plans designed to boost the number of babies being born.

It was a way of defending Hungary’s future without depending on immigration, Viktor Orban said.

The right-wing nationalist particularly opposes immigration by Muslims.

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Hungary’s population is falling by 32,000 a year. Women there have fewer children than the EU average.

As part of the measures, young couples will be offered interest-free loans of 10m forint (£27,400; $36,000), to be cancelled once they have three children.

Mr Orban said that “for the West”, the answer to falling birth rates in Europe was immigration: “For every missing child, there should be one coming in and then the numbers will be fine.

“Hungarian people think differently,” he said. “We do not need numbers. We need Hungarian children.”

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