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Details of large scale home subsidy plan announced

December 23rd, 2015

A left-wing commentator fears that the government’s plan to offer a subsidy of 10 million forints for young families will entrench poverty. His conservative counterpart calls such fears outright ridiculous.

Last week, the government announced to plans to reduce the VAT on newly built homes from the current 27 per cent to 5 per cent from 1 January 2016 in order to boost construction and help Hungarian families. In addition, young couples who already have or pledge to have 3 children will get a 10 million forint subsidy and another 10 million forints in low-interest state subsidized loans to buy newly-built houses or apartments.

Népszava’s Péter Somfai welcomes the government’s decision to help young families to purchase new homes. He finds the announced VAT reduction and benefits somewhat controversial, however, in light of the House Speaker’s remarks about women (see BudaPost December 17). The left-wing columnist fears that the program may even prove controversial, since it will discourage poor families in the countryside including Roma families to seek education and work. The benefits the government is offering are enough to buy houses in poor regions, and thus deprived and marginalized young people will have no incentive to continue their education – but only to have at least three kids, Somfai fears.

In Magyar Hírlap, Pál Dippold finds such left-wing opinions about the implications of the government’s proposed scheme both nauseating and ridiculous. The same left-wing politicians that ignored poor Hungarian families and governed the country to the brink of economic collapse now fear that the government’s substantial help for poor families will only entrench poverty, Dippold contends. He finds particularly absurd the suggestion that support for families with three children can be interpreted as the government’s ideological intrusion into the personal life of families by encouraging them to have more children.

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