- Singapore has for years been struggling with a low population, a development attributed to low fertility and an ageing population
- The country currently pays new parents R150 000 in baby support; a move aimed at increasing the Southeast Asia country's population
- Singapore Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said most people had suspended their parenthood dreams due to destitution and uncertainty caused by Covid-19
PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see Briefly.co.za News on your News Feed!
The government of Singapore has announced that it will be giving a one-time additional payment to people aspiring to be parents during the Covid-19 pandemic.
While appearing before parliament on Monday, October 5, Singapore Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said the payment will go a long way in increasing the Southeast Asia country's population and birthrate that has for years been an all-time low.
According to Heng, the Covid-19 pandemic had threatened to exacerbate the situation since most people aspiring to be parents had suspended the plans owing to dwindling income and job insecurity occasioned by the scourge.
"We have received feedback that Covid-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans. 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," the Prime Minister told lawmakers.
The new kitty will be on top of R150k new parents are already enjoying as child support. Heng, however, did not indicate how much will be wired to new parents under the new arrangement.
"This will be on top of the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, which provides eligible parents up to $10,000 in benefits. Minister Indranee will share more details on the additional support soon," he added.
Currently, Singapore has a population of about 5.85 million people and a birthrate of 1.14 child per woman. A 2011 report by the Singaporean government blamed the low population on low fertility and an ageing population.
As of Wednesday, October 7, some 57,840 people had contracted the coronavirus in Singapore out of which 27 had died and 57,612 had recovered, making the recovery rate of Singapore average.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!