Hungary is greatly increasing financial aid and subsidies for families with several children, the Prime Minister has announced, in a move aimed at reversing the country’s population decline without softening its “zero tolerance” policy on immigration.

Viktor Orban made the announcement during his “state of the nation” speech.

The new benefits include:

  • a lifetime personal income tax exemption for women who give birth and raise at least four children;
  • a subsidy of 2.5 million forints ($US8,825) toward the purchase a seven-seat vehicle for families with three or more children; and
  • a low-interest loan of 10 million forints ($35,300) for women under the age of 40 who are marrying for the first time.
Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister

Mr Orban, who has made “zero tolerance” for immigration his main theme in the past four years and was elected to a third consecutive term in April, said the initiative was meant to “ensure the survival of the Hungarian nation.”

“This is the Hungarians’ answer, not immigration,” Mr Orban said.

The Prime Minister also listed some of his government’s economic achievements — such as low unemployment —and vowed to fight poverty.