BUDAPEST, Hungary — Healthy families are more important than economic growth judged purely on figures on a spreadsheet, the Hungarian government told Breitbart London as it launched a new budget to support children and halt demographic decline.
The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán introduced the new measures this week, which from 2020 will fund the new Family Protection Action Plan. The plan is set to see a 224 billion Hungarian Forints (£619 million) increase in family spending, for a total of 1.26 trillion HUF (£3.6 billion) in subsidies for Hungarian families.
The budget comes only months after the announcement that the country would be looking to implement radical changes that could see women with four or more children being made exempt from income tax for the rest of their lives.
A government spokesman told Breitbart London there was a clear distinction between Hungary’s approach and those of other European nations, who chose to import people instead. He said: “Europe is at a crossroads. Western Europe seeks to address the problem of demography with simple solutions which only offer short-term success, but convey catastrophic consequences in the long run.”
Report: Hungary Counters Europe’s Demographic Winter https://t.co/Ddrl5l8zVy
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 27, 2019
“Hungary has a long-term approach and opts for the more difficult path, as a result of which, however, Europe could become an economically strong, rejuvenated continent. Either we encourage births by placing the interests of families in the focus of politics, or we encourage ever further flows of migration,” the spokesman added.
Explaining that Hungary now placed a higher priority on the family than on economic growth for the sake of economic growth which was reflected in the high ratio of family funding to GDP, and said: “Our goal is to halt Hungary’s demographic decline using family support measures.
“What we need is not numbers, but Hungarian children: we’re not seeking to sustain an economic system, but Hungary, the Hungarian nation and Hungarian history; we want to encourage the continuation of our families for several generations.”
The spokesman said that Hungary was looking to convince other European countries of the benefits of stronger family policy and said: “So the hostility to the childbirth incentives programme stems from the fact that those who want to solve Europe’s demographic problems through migration abhor family policy. The converse is also true: we who want to solve the problems of Europe and our own country through family policy abhor migration.”
Hungary Backs ‘Europe of Families’, Not ‘Europe of Migrants’ https://t.co/Qr6sXfMNTm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 28, 2019
One Western European country that has emulated the Hungarian stance is Italy. Populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has made it clear he supports pro-family policies, with his party proposing legislation that would give free tracts of rural land to Italians with three or more children to help repopulate rural areas.
The increase in Hungary’s family spending comes in stark contrast to countries that took in large numbers of migrants during the migrant crisis like Germany which saw a record level of expenditure on asylum seekers in 2018, spending 23 billion euros (£2obn).