Singapore plans to give new payments to citizens that have babies during the coronavirus pandemic.
All Singaporeans who welcome a new baby into their family at any time until September 30, 2022, will receive a one-time payment of about $2,200 from the government. The money will be added to a payment of up to $7,300 that is already given to new parents in the country.
Singapore has struggled with low birth rates for a long time and the government is worried that the pandemic will make the situation even worse. In a recent government survey of over 4,000 people, about 30% of Singaporeans said they are likely to delay their plans to get married or have a child because of the pandemic.
According to the survey, people said they were delaying their plans because they were worried about the impact of the coronavirus on the world’s health situation, losing their jobs or income, and that the coronavirus might make healthcare facilities unsafe.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, who announced the new government program, said that this year has been “especially challenging” for many young couples. She said the government hopes the new program will encourage couples not to delay their plans and start a family.
Singapore currently has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, with only 1.14 babies born per woman. This is well below the 2.1 rate that a country needs for its population to stay the same.