4.6 Access to quality services
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The Family Housing Support Program ('KISS') [Családi Otthonteremtési Kedvezmény ('CSOK')] addresses young (married) couples and it aims to ease the problems of Hungary regarding the decline in population.
Changes in the Family Housing Support Program
In 2009 an interest subsidy replaced the former housing support. With this support, the Government addressed young people under the age of 35 who were building, buying or renovating a house. [12/2001. (I. 31.) Korm. rend.] In 2012, a similar but new system was introduced, but it was not a success, since the support was possible to be used solely for buying a new flat or building a new house, and it was available only for families with at least two children. Due to the strict rules, only 1 638 families requested this support during the three years of its availability.
The support system was reconstructed into the current one in 2015. It is called the Family Housing Support Program (in Hungarian: Családi Otthonteremtési Kedvezmény – CSOK). The conditions are more favourable than before since the subsidy can also be used to buy a second-hand property or to enlarge an existing one. Besides, families with one child can also have access to it. [Portfolio 2016/1 Referred in: Youth Policy Review, 2016; 16/2016. (II. 10.) Korm. rend.; 17/2016. (II. 10.) Korm. rend.]
In September 2016, the Government changed the application procedure for the Family Housing Support and broadened the possibilities for it to be used. [Portfolio 2016/2, 273/2016. (IX. 15.) Korm. rend.]
The rules of applying for the Family Housing Support Program ('KISS') [Családi Otthonteremtési Kedvezmény ('CSOK')] changed in 2018. Starting this date, families can apply easier, and for a larger amount of loan as part of the support. (Jelzalog.com) Nevertheless, it is still not a measure aiming social inclusion, as it needs a big investment from the family, which people in need cannot afford. (For more information, please see sub-chapter 1.4 Youth policy decision-making.)
From 1 July 2019, the Government broadened the KISS Support Program. The conditions are more favourable than before: in several cases, a soft loan can be used. The Government also introduced a new form 'village KISS' ('falusi CSOK') which is available in nearly 2500 disadvantaged small town or peripheral villages until 30 June 2022.
According to the latest data ('Lakossági lakáshitelezés', 2020) of the Central Statistical Office, between 2016 and 2020, almost 156 000 housing support was granted in EUR 1.03 billion (HUF 386 billion).
Since 2010, Hungarian social politics aim less at the protection of vulnerable groups. Measures support self-care and the restricted participation of the state instead. (Szikra, 2014) Social politics targeted at young people mainly relate to employment issues, to the creation of jobs and to the family support and child protection systems. (For more information, please see Chapter 3. Employment and Entrepreneurship.)
Discount on school meals ('Gyermekétkeztetés') is available for children in crèches, nursery schools and public education institutions. This support covers 50% or 100% of the price of school meals. Entitlement to this provision is reviewed based on needs. Claims should include a statement of income as a prerequisite. Since 2016, it is the task of municipalities to distribute regular meals free of charge for disadvantaged and multiply disadvantaged children during school holidays, when crèches, nursery schools and primary education institutions are closed.
Previously, the Hungarian Government provided textbooks free of charge to schoolchildren who are or live in tough conditions. From September 2020, it is free for all students in public education and vocational training according to the amendment of Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről). This measure costs EUR 38.2 million (HUF 13.8 billion) in 2020.
In Hungary, based on the Act CLIV of 1997 on Health
'Each patient shall have a right, within the frameworks provided by law, to appropriate and continuously accessible health care justified by his health condition, without any discrimination. […] The objective of youth health care is to promote the balanced physical and emotional development of minors.'
Hungarian healthcare is free to all which ensured by the law. It is partly financed by the health insurance contributions which are tax-based. (Government of Hungary, National Reform Programme 2016 of Hungary) Children up to 16 years are eligible for the provisions, just like young people who are enrolled in full-time education. (National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary)
The National Health Insurance Fund
'The NEAK, as a central agency, performs the functions set out in legislation, carries out the tasks relating to the management of the National Health Insurance Fund (in Hungarian NEAK), the maintenance of records, keeping financial accounts and fulfilling the reporting obligation.
The National Health Insurance Fund is supervised by the Government of Hungary, the central official organ of health insurance is managed by the Government through the Minister of Human Resources.'
Special healthcare services provided for young people to foster inclusion
There are no special healthcare services provided for young people that promote inclusion.
Regular child protection benefit
Regular child protection benefit (rendszeres gyermekvédelmi támogatás) is provided upon needs, based on an income test. For those entitled for the benefit, further services are also provided, such as 50% or 100% reimbursement of costs of school meals. For young people enrolled in full-time higher education studies, regular child protection benefit can be provided even after they have reached the age of majority, until the age of 25. The monthly amount of the benefit (circa EUR 20,29; HUF 6 270) is 22% of the current old-age pension and can be provided per child.
Exceptional child protection benefit
Exceptional child protection benefit ('Gyermekvédelmi támogatás') is a form of financial support for individuals with children who undergo an exceptional life situation or crisis, or for young people having reached the age of majority and living separate from their parents but struggling with existential difficulties or their subsistence being at risk. It is provided upon needs and is based on income test. Municipalities decide on the provision of such benefit.
Biological, adopted or foster children of the deceased are entitled to orphans' allowance ('Árvaellátás'), as well as siblings and grandchildren in the same household if they were dependent form the deceased, and there is no relative obliged to, and capable of, providing them subsistence. The orphans' allowance can be obtained if the deceased was an old-age pensioner or he/she has fulfilled the required obligations for obtaining the living parent's allowances until his or her death. In case a youngster is enrolled in full-time higher education studies, the orphans' allowance can be provided even after he/she has reached the age of majority, until the age of 25.
Young people with reduced working capacity are entitled to this allowance without age limit. From 2022, the minimum amount of the orphans' allowance is about EUR 133 (HUF 50 000), but the exact calculated amount is 30% of the old-age pension the deceased received at the time of his/her death. The support is double as much for those who lost both parents or whose living single parent has reduced working capacity.
Bursa Hungarica Higher Education Municipal Scholarship System
Bursa Hungarica Higher Education Municipal Scholarship System (Bursa Hungarica Felsőoktatási Önkormányzati Ösztöndíjrendszer) operates since the school year 2000/2001. It supports the studies of socially disadvantaged young people. Being enrolled in full-time higher education studies is a prerequisite. It is funded through an allocation by the Ministry of Human Capacities in the budget of municipalities, regional authorities and higher education institutions.
In the 2018/2019 academic school year 19 008 students received the support. 2020 Follow up report on National Social Inclusion Strategy (MNTFS 2020 nyomonkövetési jelentés)]
Baby waiting support for young married couples (Babaváró támogatás)
The Hungarian state provides many discounts for young couples. One of these is the 'Baby waiting support' ('Babaváró támogatás'). Beginning 1 July, 2019, baby waiting support for young married couples [44/2019. (III. 12.) Korm. rendelet a babaváró támogatásról] is available in the amount of a maximum of 10 million Ft (about 30 000 EUR) one-time loan. The wife must be at least 18 years old, and cannot be older than 40 years, also, it must be her first marriage.
- For the first baby born, the couple does not have to pay the loan repayments for 3 years.
- For the second baby born, the total amount of money to be paid back is reduced by 30%, and the loan repayments get paused for 3 years.
- If a third child is born, the couple does not have to pay back the part remaining from the loan.
The 'Baby waiting support' for young married couples is only available until the end of the year 2022. (For more information please see sub-chapter 1.4 Youth policy decision-making.) This is not an inclusive financial service; the main aim is to support population policy.
Tax exemption for young people
In 2021, one main youth related provision was the personal income tax exemption under 25 years from January 2022. The initiative came from the Operative board responsible for restarting community life in Hungary and will cost HUF 130-150 billion (EUR 357-413 million) annually.
Monitoring is done mainly through statistics, aggregation of the number of users and their data. These data are usually internally used.