ivana maletić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR/ ds

Ivana Maletic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) on Wednesday revealed the key points of the party's welfare policy, saying it would offer one-off aid in the amount of HRK 7,500 for each newborn.

Maletic, who was in charge of drawing up the HDZ's election platform, told reporters that Croatia needed an integral demographic and population policy as well as an integral and clear welfare policy. She also underlined the importance of social equity.

Maletic announced lower VAT on children's food, the payment of HRK 7,500 for each newborn, and delimiting childbirth allowances for the second six months after birth.

She also announced bigger investments in research and development, up to 2% of GDP, which she said was the European Union average. "If we wish to be competitive and develop in the long term, we must invest in education and science," she said, adding that the 2% meant that HRK 7 billion would be invested in research and development.

Maletic also said the HDZ wanted to fully align education and science with economic needs.

Tomislav Coric, who also took part in drawing up the party's election platform, said the HDZ would secure the funds for its plans through better budget revenues which would be the result of economic growth achieved thanks to the implementation of the party's platform.

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