In an effort aimed to ease the financial burden of citizens and reassure those who face financial pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic, Singapore will offer aspiring parents a one-time payment. This is meant to allay the worries of citizens that are delaying parenthood as they grapple with job layoffs and economic downturns.
“We have received feedback that Covid-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans,” Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in parliament.
“This is fully understandable, especially when they face uncertainty with their income,” he added.
“To help with expenses during this period, we will introduce a one-off additional support for newborns.”
More details about how much the payment would be and how the measures would be implemented have not been announced yet. However, this payment will be in addition to the hefty baby bonus that the government offers to encourage more citizens to extend their families: eligible parents can receive up to S$10,000 ($7,330) in benefits.
Singapore has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world and it reached an eight-year low in 2018 at 1.14 births per woman. With this rate, it is leveled with Hong Kong and only South Korea and Puerto Rico have lower rates. Successive governments have endeavored to reverse this trend by providing a wide range of financial and tax incentives but have largely been unsuccessful.
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