Singapore offers ‘pandemic baby bonus’ to boost births
Written by Fred on October 6, 2020
Singapore is offering a one-off payment to encourage people to have babies during the coronavirus pandemic.
The worry is that citizens are putting off parenthood as they struggle with financial stress and job layoffs.
Details of the amount that could be paid have yet to be released. It is in addition to several hefty baby bonuses offered by the government.
Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, which it has struggled to boost for decades.
It is in stark contrast to some of its neighbours such as Indonesia and the Philippines, which are facing the prospect of a massive spike in pregnancies from their coronavirus lockdowns.
“We have received feedback that Covid-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans,” Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Monday.
Mr Heng said more details about amounts and how they will be paid would be announced at a later date.
Singapore’s current baby bonus system provides eligible parents up to S$10,000 ($7,330, £5,644) in benefits.
Singapore’s fertility rate touched an eight-year low in 2018, according to government data, at a rate of 1.14 births per woman.
Many Asian countries face a similar issue of falling fertility rates, which could worsen during the pandemic downturn.
Earlier this year, China’s birth rate fell to its lowest since the formation of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago. This came despite the easing of the much criticised one-child policy.
(SOURCE : BBC)