There have been so many news about the crisis Singapore is facing in the near future….the decreasing or rather aging population as less Singaporeans are willing to get married younger and give birth or produce more babies….
News 1taken from here:39,490 babies were born in Singapore last year, but not all were born of Singaporean parents.
In fact, only 59 per cent of them have both a Singaporean mother and a Singaporean father. But if births where at one parent is a foreigner were included, then the figure goes up to 82 per cent…..
………If Singapore men are fathering more babies than Singapore women are giving birth to, then who is delivering the goods?
6,071 babies were born to Singapore fathers whose wives are Malaysians, Indonesians, Chinese nationals, or are from other countries in the region.
Some women from further afield have also been increasing Singapore’s birth rate.
Singapore’s Total Fertility Rate â€” which measures the average number of children a woman will have in her lifetime â€” currently stands at 1.29.
Among the Malay and Indian communities, their birth rates have fallen steadily from year 2000 to 2006.
While the birth rate among the Chinese community has crept up very slightly, it still remains the lowest of all the three races.
News 2taken from here : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called Sunday on the youth of Singapore to marry at an early age and have more babies to boost the city-state’s population…..Singapore’s fertility rate is currently 1.29 children per woman, well below the 2.1 needed to maintain the country’s 4.6 million population…….
…..the Chinese community, whose fertility rate is the lowest of all Singapore’s ethnic groups at 1.14…..
……men and women need to adjust their attitudes toward marriage to achieve his goals. Many of Singapore’s men are too traditional while their wives care too much about their careers…..
….There must be a balance between career and marriage…..consider getting married and having children while you’re still young…..
“If you wait for a career to be successful, you may miss the best ideal age for child bearing,” he warned.
….Singapore’s husbands need to “change their mind-set,”……In the old days, the man was the master of the household. That era has gone…..men should assist their wives with child-rearing duties and household chores. “The modern-day woman expects equality.”
Parents of young people in Singapore also have a role to play….urging them to match their children with possible spouses.
…Not everyone knows how to woo the opposite sex….They may have smaller social circles, and a busy work schedule…..
News 3taken from here:In a desperate attempt to convince couples to have more babies, Singapore’s government is offering a bonanza of tax benefits, leaves and other perks starting January.
The 1.6-billion-Singapore-dollar ($1.1 billion) package outlined in the media Thursday will benefit all parents.
Encouraging more births has been a national priority since Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong focussed on the escalating problem of low birth rates in 2004. The current fertility rate of 1.29 is far from the replacement level of 2.1.
The dwindling birthrate and rise in childless couples in Southeast Asia’s wealthiest nation has been an ongoing cause for alarm. Leaders have pointed out the insufficient number of live births also threatens future economic, labour and defence requirements.
An initial set of incentives introduced four years ago failed to make a significant difference.
The idea is to create a ‘family-friendly’ Singapore……
……..Under the incentives in the latest package, parents can claim 4,000 Singapore dollars ($2,857) in child tax relief, instead of the current 2,000 Singapore dollars.
Working mothers can claim more: 15 percent for the first child instead of five percent.
In total, the amount parents can claim for a child each year has doubled to 50,000 Singapore dollars ($35,714).
A bigger cash ‘Baby Bonus’ will be given for the first and second child; 4,000 Singapore dollars ($2,857 US dollars) instead of 3,000 Singapore dollars.
Paid maternity leave will increase from 12 to 16 weeks for mothers.
The government will also pay part of the cost for fertility treatments for women under 40.
Population planners have pointed out that no country has been able to lift its fertility rate to the replacement level after it plunged to 1.29.
News 4 (further elaboration)taken from here : ………… Parents can also spend more time with their kids as paid maternity leave will be extended from 12 to 16 weeks, of which the last eight weeks can be taken flexibly, over 12 months starting from the date of confinement.
Each parent will also be entitled to six days of paid childcare leave a year if their child is below the age of seven. The first 3 days will be employerâ€”paid, with the remaining days paid for by the government.
For those with children under two years old, they can each take up to six days of unpaid infant care leave…..
………To help defray the cost of raising children, S$400 million will be set aside for the Baby Bonus scheme, a twoâ€”tier grant given to parents. Improvements include increasing the cash gift from S$3,000 to S$4,000 for the first and second child.
Some S$220 million worth of Baby Bonus were given out in 2007.
Childcare and infant care subsidies will also almost double. Working mothers can expect subsidies of S$300 or S$600 a month for fullâ€”day care, while nonâ€”working mothers will get S$150.
With so much attempt to get Singaporeans to start “manufacturing”, will the government fail to see improvement like what they did in 2004’s BabyBonus? Only time will tell….
But for my case, there is something else that wasn’t mentioned. What about pre-birth? Those expenses are HUGE!!! The check-ups, the folic acids, the tonics, the transportation cost to and fro the hospital and not forgeting the expensives incurred in the labour ward and the hospital stays….
Yes there are perks for after-birth, but before a ‘poor’ person can give birth, there should be incentives to ‘ help ‘ the person get through the ‘difficult’ 10months (financially)….of cos’ in some aspect, I do see it as a risk to the government in situation where the baby died at birth or the baby couldn’t survive through the 9-10months….so its a gamble…its really whether the government is willing to take that risk…
SERIOUSLY, if the government is willing to ‘pay’ for the basic check-ups needed before birth, I would be the first one to start my ‘long-awaited factory’ in operation again! Remember my ideal number of kids is 4!!! *wink*