Singapore's Measures for More Babies!

by Tanya Thomas on Jul 22 2008 9:07 AM

Singapore’s Government sources have revealed that the country will be introducing multiple measures to up its plunging birth rates, this after certain earlier policies have failed to produce the desired results. The statement was made by the government on Monday.

The new measures, which will be announced next month, will include more financial support for parents and policies to encourage a pro-family environment in the workplace, Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng said in parliament.

Singapore has observed the policies of industrialized countries such as Sweden and Denmark, which are enjoying high fertility rates with the introduction of generous social benefits, but will not be completely employing the same measures, he said.

"The Nordic countries in particular have generous family benefits to support couples in having and raising children... they have provided some useful learning points," said Wong.

"If we are to offer a same level of social subsidies as in the Nordic countries, we will have to raise our taxes very significantly," he said.

Wong said Singapore will "have to decide what works for us based on what we can afford and our local context."

Singapore has a fertility rate of 1.29 babies born per woman in 2007, well below the 2.1, or at least two children per woman, for the population to replace itself naturally, according to government figures.

Financial incentives unveiled in recent years to encourage married Singaporeans to have more babies have failed to significantly cure the wealthy city-state's baby blues.