Budapest, Hungary, Feb 12, 2019 / 03:22 am America/Denver (CNA).
In an effort to encourage Hungarians to have more babies, the prime minister of the country has announced that women with four children or more will be exempt from paying income tax for life.
In a speech over the weekend, Prime Minister Viktor Orban also promised to reduce mortgage payments for those with children, offer state aid in purchasing larger family vehicles, include grandparents on maternity leave, add day care options, and introduce new loans available for families.
The Washington Post reports that Hungary’s fertility rate is currently 1.45 children per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman.
According to Eurostat data, Hungary saw some 94,000 live births in 2017, compared to 131,900 deaths.
The low birth rate combined with some of the continent’s most stringent immigration policies and a rush of young workers leaving the country to seek better wages abroad has put Hungary on the verge of a demographic crisis, threatening serious economic consequences if the population trends are not reversed.