Singapore proposes baby bonus amid fears of coronavirus fertility slump

Singapore announces support for households facing tough times during pandemic  

The government said it was concerned households were 'postponing their parenting plans'
The government said it was concerned households were 'postponing their parenting plans'

Singapore has announced a series of measures to support its citizens in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic – including economic support for those who wish to have more babies.

Deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat presented the proposals in the country’s parliament on Monday as part of an overview of the government’s strategy to emerge stronger from the pandemic, and noted that their “path to recovery will not be easy”.  

He said while managing the healthcare front, the government also needs to handle the economic and social consequences of the virus, with many businesses, workers, and households hit hard by the disruption and uncertainty.

“We have received feedback that Covid-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans," Keat said. "This is fully understandable, especially when they face uncertainty with their income. Hence, to help with expenses during this period, we will introduce a one-off additional support for newborns.”

He announced that this support will be on top of the existing “Baby Bonus Cash Gift", which provides eligible parents up to (Singapore Dollar) $10,000 (£5,700) in benefits.  

Keat, who is the also the country’s finance minister, said he has laid out the approach to support households in dealing with the pandemic in the next six months, and “to have more babies.”  

“We will adjust our support if necessary, in response to changes on the medical front and global economic developments. I hope that businesses, workers and households will make good use of these resources in the months ahead,” said the deputy prime minister.

Since the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, there have been 57,819 confirmed cases in Singapore with 27 deaths.

Keat emphasised that the household support announced earlier will continue to flow in the coming months. He said that after a difficult several months, the virus situation in Singapore has “stabilised”, and large parts of the economy have “resumed operations”.  

The parliament of Singapore was also informed that government had so far committed support measures of about $100 billion to deal with Covid-19. Keat said the government is determined to have “better jobs” for workers, and “stronger support to enable them to bounce back if they fall.”  

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