In the past few years, in the past decade, all demographic indicators have shifted in the right direction, and ever more people have a chance to experience what it is like to be a mother or a father, the Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs at the Ministry of Human Capacities said on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Sunday Paper’.

Katalin Novák said it is joyful news that ever more people are saying yes to life and to having children, and those who earlier said there was no point in investing money in assisting and supporting young people with starting a family had been proved to be wrong.

She said there is no better investment than this, and expressed hope that ever more children will be able to greet their mothers on Mothers’ Day.

She also highlighted that the number of marriages had not been this high for forty years, while the number of divorces was at a sixty-year low. Perhaps relationships are also becoming more stable, and the fact that the financial situation of families has improved may play a part in this, she pointed out.

She added that the government is seeking to help in every area of life in a number of ways. She mentioned as examples taxation which actively supports families, the housing programme, the baby expecting support and the development of the system of creches.

The Minister of State said it is a serious question “as to whether we Hungarians can agree that we must live off work, and would like to support our families and raise our children decently from work”. She highlighted that compared with the period before 2010 – when people were told ‘someone will somehow support you, anyway’ – this was one of the greatest changes.

At the time of the change of government in 2010, unemployment stood at almost 12 per cent, and according to Ms. Novák, one of the greatest achievements is that the government has restored the prestige of work. People can work honestly now, and not only nominally, but doing meaningful jobs so that the Hungarian people appreciate that with their own efforts they are moving the country forward, she stressed.

She said while one can see that in the situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic, many people’s jobs could be at risk, and there are some who have already lost their jobs, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has guaranteed in person to create as many jobs as will be destroyed by the epidemic. Everyone will be able to find jobs from which they will be able to support their families decently, Ms. Novák underlined.

On the programme, the Minister of State also said, despite the epidemic, there is ongoing interest in the baby expecting support. She highlighted that in the case of both the baby expecting support and the family housing benefit ‘csok’, they will pay attention to ensuring that, in the case of those who temporarily lose their jobs, the disruption of their social security status need not be taken into consideration, while if they find employment again, the calculation for eligibility will not restart from scratch. At the same time, they have made it possible for young mothers to authorise their husbands to collect the baby expecting support on their behalf in the bank, she added.

Ms. Novák described this year’s Mothers’ Day as one of the hardest we have ever experienced. She said she finds it hard that she is unable to hand over a bouquet of flowers to her mother in person or give her a hug, but we must accept that at this time everyone can do the most for this generation by protecting them.

So that “we can celebrate many more Mothers’ Days together,” we must celebrate this Mothers’ Day a little differently, she said.

She added that Hungarians are creative people, we will all find a way to greet our mothers and grandmothers in a way which is different from what we are used to.

(Ministry of Human Capacities / MTI)