From 1 July the interest-subsidised loans provided under the family housing benefit scheme (‘csok’) will also be available for the purchase of used homes, and families will be able to apply for the new child support in respect of children born after 1 July, Katalin Novák announced.

The Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs at the Ministry of Human Capacities said regarding the child support offered to young married couples that every woman between the ages of 18 and 40 years living in their first marriage and in employment for minimum three years will be eligible for the allowance if they agree to have children. An interest-free any-purpose loan up to maximum HUF 10 million will be available, and this option will remain open for three years from July.

In the case of children born after 1 July 2019, the repayment of loans will be suspended for three years. Upon the birth of a second child repayment will be suspended for another three years and 30 per cent of the principal debt will also be cancelled, while in the case of a third child the remaining part of the loan will be cancelled in its entirety, and as a result this option could even become a non-repayable grant, she said.

The Minister of State observed that if parents take out the maximum amount of HUF 10 million, the monthly amortisation instalment will amount to HUF 50,000 with a term of 20 years. She stressed that persons who are already married and have children may also apply for the child support, but a loan may only be requested for further newly-born children.

Mrs Novák said the preferential loan provided in conjunction with ‘csok’ will also be available for the purchase of used properties, meaning that families with two children may take out interest-subsidised loans up to HUF 10 million, while families with three or more children will be entitled to loans up to HUF 15 million for the purchase of used flats or family houses.

In this respect, she also said that they are abolishing the limit of HUF 35 million in the case of the purchase of used properties; earlier this was a condition of eligibility for ‘csok’.

The assumption of a part of mortgage loans will change in such a way that already upon the birth of a second child HUF 1 million will be assumed by the state, HUF 4 million will be assumed upon the birth of a third child, and in the case of every further child thereafter the state will assume another HUF 1 million, the Minister of State said, adding that it is important to know that this option will also be available in the case of interest-subsidised ‘csok’ loans.

Mrs Novák said that personal income tax exemption for women with minimum four children will be introduced as of next year as expected, and this will apply not only to children under the age of 18 years, but also to adult children, all the way to retirement. This tax exemption will only apply to incomes derived from work, meaning that it will not apply to dividend incomes, for instance, she pointed out.

Regarding the child care allowance of grandparents, she said that this option will only be available to active grandparents who are still working, meaning that pensioners will not be eligible, and it will not extend to the so-called ‘child care allowance extra’. This means that if the grandparent goes back to work, payment of the child care allowance will be discontinued.

She also said that they had assessed needs for crèche services, and they found that 70,000 places would be required. Therefore, according to plans, by 2020 they will increase the number of places to 60,000 from the present 50,000, and to 70,000 by 2022.

The Minister of State announced that a car purchase programme will be launched for large families: the government will support the purchase of new cars with minimum seven seats in the case of families raising at least three children with a non-repayable grant of HUF 2.5 million which may be equivalent to maximum 50 per cent of the price of the vehicle. This sum will not be reimbursed subsequently; families will have to pay that much less upon the purchase of their cars.

Mrs Novák highlighted that the funds for financing these measures are available in the budget. Next year they will allocate approximately HUF 150 billion to these expenditures, while one half of this sum this year, but the actual expenditures will also depend on the number of families availing themselves of these options.

The Minister of State further stressed that the extension of family allowances is not a finished process; they will continue the work related to them.

She said since 2010 the government has been building a family-friendly country, and every one of its decisions is about making it easier for families to have and to raise children in Hungary. This is why they are pursuing a family-centred government policy, and this is why they have doubled the allowances and benefits available to families since 2010.

Meanwhile the results of the measures implemented to date are becoming perceivable, not only in a demographic sense, but also in that people raising children are better-off today, she added. She recalled that for 20 years people in Hungary had not had as many children as they did last year, and for 20 years young people had not contracted as many marriages as they did in 2018 when more than 100,000 young people said ‘I do’.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)