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Government aims at a new baby boom

May 12th, 2012

A left-wing daily believes that the government’s plans to stimulate birth rates by helping mothers get back to work and retire earlier will prove ineffective. It suggests that instead of helping middle class families, the government should focus rather on the poor in order to improve Hungary’s disastrous demographic lull.

In Népszava György Sebes is passionately critical of the ‘New Baby Boom’ draft published by the government. He accuses the cabinet of neglecting the bulk of society to promote higher birth rates among the middle classes.

According to the proposal, the government wants to help mothers get back to work by increasing the number of kindergartens and promoting part-time work opportunities for mothers returning to work after maternity leave. Subsidies are envisaged for families to buy their first cars or to find cheap apartments. In addition, mothers will also have the bonus of retiring before the usual retirement age.

In an interview published in the same daily, Katalin Keveházy, head of a foundation counselling mothers who want to return to their jobs after maternity leave, points out that in Hungary those mothers who cannot return to their jobs have additional children out of necessity, as an alternative to unemployment. Instead of futile proposals focusing on the middle class, the government should boost economic growth and create jobs to increase birth rates, Keveházy suggests.

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