Singapore will pay citizens to have a baby

Singapore will pay citizens to have a baby
Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Source: Shutterstock
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Daily US Times: Singapore will offer a one-time payment to aspiring parents during this pandemic.

The country’s deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat said the incentive would help reassure people who face financial pressure and are worried about their jobs.

“We have received feedback that Covid-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans,” he told lawmakers on Monday.

He added: “This is fully understandable, especially when they face uncertainty with their income.”

Heng said the payment would help parents with expenses, but he did not confirm any specific amount to be paid out.

Despite a largely successful public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy of Singapore has been thrown into a deep recession.

The country’s GDP likely shrank 12.6% in the second quarter compared to the same time the previous year, marking “the steepest drop on record,” according to economists.

The Asian country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, a statistic that successive governments have attempted unsuccessfully to reverse.

According to its national statistics body, the fertility rate now stands at just 1.14 births per woman.

That places it level with Hong Kong, World Bank data says. Only South Korea and the US territory of Puerto Rico have lower rates.

For a country to naturally repopulate itself, women in the country must have 2.1 babies on average — though most developed countries are now below that level, as a decline in the proportion of couples and the lessening importance of traditional gender roles have seen fertility rates drop globally.

Since the 1980s, Singapore has struggled to reverse the trendm with public campaigns encouraging childbirth and a host of financial and tax incentives unable to stop its slump.

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