In Hungary’s State of the Nation Sunday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that Hungarian women will get a lifetime exemption from personal income taxes and receive subsidies for larger cars if they have four or more children, CNBC reports.
The “Family Protection Action Plan” also promises to extend home loans to families with at least two children, give women under 40 a preferential loan upon marriage, build 21,000 nurseries across the country in three years, and provide grandparents with free childcare if they are raising their children’s children.
Although the national call for procreation may appear to be a warm and fuzzy message right in time for Valentine’s Day, it should be noted that Orban’s action plan isn’t just a bid to increase Hungary’s declining birthrate. It’s also a move to limit the country’s immigration and diverse population.
“We are living in times when fewer and fewer children are being born throughout Europe. People in the West are responding to this with immigration,” Orban said in his speech, according to the New York Times. “Hungarians see this in a different light. We do not need numbers, but Hungarian children.”
The right-wing nationalist, who has repeatedly vowed to make Hungary a “Christian homeland,” has built high-tech border fences to curb migration and has said that Middle Eastern immigrants should be viewed “Muslim invaders” rather than “refugees,” Politico reports.
This is just one of Orban’s attempts to incentivize specifically Hungarian population growth, which is falling 32,000 people a year, according to the BBC.
The NYT reports that Orban has also offered scholarships to university students who promise to stay in the country, citizenship to ethnically Hungarian people who live outside of the country, and 400 hours of overtime that an employer can demand of workers a year. (Granted the latter, referred to by opponents as Hungary’s “slave law,” is more of an incentive to business owners than the Hungarian working class.)