- Singapore is looking at giving cash incentives to couples who will bear a child amid the COVID-19 pandemic
- Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said they don’t want their citizens to feel discouraged in having a baby amid the financial impact of the pandemic
- Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and they are looking at achieving a “sustainable population” for economic and social growth
As Singapore’s fertility rate dips as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, their government is planning to give monetary incentives for couples who will bear a baby amid the health crisis.
The Singaporean government is setting to provide a one-off payment to help parents be more confident to have a baby amid the financial impact of the pandemic.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat was quoted on the Gulf News saying, “We have received feedback that COVID-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans. To help with expenses during this period, we will introduce a one-off additional support for newborns.”
Heng said further details on the incentive will follow. The cash incentive is already an additional support on top of the government’s existing “baby bonus,” which is meant to urge more citizens to have more children. Eligible parents can receive up to S$10,000 ($7,330) in benefits.
Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. In 2018, their fertility rate touched an eight-year low. The fertility rate now stands at just 1.14 births per woman, according to its national statistics body.
Since the 1980s, Singapore has struggled to increase its fertility rate by using campaigns and several tax incentives to encourage pr
egnancies. Like any country, Singapore aims to have a “sustainable population” essential for economic and social growth.
“Like many developed countries, Singapore’s key population challenges are our low fertility and an ageing population. Our aim is to achieve a sustainable population that supports both economic growth and social cohesion, so that Singapore remains vibrant and liveable,” a government report stated.