As myths of overpopulation and dramatic changes in modern culture contribute to a disturbing decline in Western birth rates, the nation of Hungary is being forced to incentivize bigger families.
Seeking to jumpstart the country’s population without relying on mass migration, like its other Eastern European neighbors, Hungary instead plans to offer €30,600 (just under $34,300 USD) to married couples who choose to have three or more children.
The program isn’t completely without strings, of course. A couple in Hungary will receive the €30,600 as a loan from the government upon getting married. The loan then has to be repaid until the couple has their third child, at which point the debt is completely forgiven.
“In this month alone, approximately 2,400 Hungarian families have already signed up and applied for the loan which is paid out in monthly installments,” reports Voice of Europe. “In the case that the couple has a child within five years, the loan’s interest and scheduled repayments are both suspended for a period of three years.”
In an effort to prevent abuse by couples who refuse to work, the program stipulates that at least of the parents needs to have paid 180 days worth of tax contributions to the state.
The marriage must also be the first for one or both of the parents, and couples who don’t have a child within five years or who get divorced within that same period will have to repay the loan in full within four months.
“We do not want to mix our Christianity-based culture, values, attitude to life with other cultures,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán previously said of the efforts to fight the country’s population decline without resorting to open borders.
Summit News reports that, thanks in part to Orbán’s pro-family policies, abortions in Hungary dropped from 40,449 to 28,500 from 2010 to 2017, divorces fell from 23,873 in 2010 to 18,600, and marriages increase by a massive 42 percent.
“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,” a Fidesz party spokesperson said. “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.”
It’s great to see a government recognize the importance of strong families and replenishing population numbers, but the sad reality is, that the population of most European countries and here in the US is dwindling because of the culture of abortion, broken homes, and longer delays before starting families.
The government shouldn’t have to step in and help, however. What is far more important is a culture that values the family and understands the importance of cultivating strong marriages and families.
This is one of the many reasons why family values, which are on a steep decline in the Western world, need to be revived!
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