On June 14th, 2012 the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) — comprised of 105 national science academies – issued a statement on population and consumption which noted that national and international policy should “encourage development strategies that help to reduce population growth.” As they say, Singapore “didn’t get the memo“.
Singapore Announces S$2 Billion Package to Increase Population
Singapore will increase spending on population-growth measures by 25 percent, rolling out incentives ranging from government-paid time off for adoption and paternity leave to funding for fertility treatments.
An annual budget of S$2 billion ($1.6 billion) will be set aside for measures including state-funded childcare leave, healthcare costs and financial support for housing to married couples, the government said in a statement today. That’s an increase from S$1.6 billion in the last package in 2008, it said.
“The enhanced package aims to provide more comprehensive support for Singaporeans in getting married and starting their families,” the government said in the statement. “Addressing our falling birth rate requires a concerted effort beyond government initiatives.”
Declining birth rates could undermine Singapore’s ability to sustain growth levels achieved by embracing free trade, fostering higher-value manufacturing and nurturing services industries such as gambling and health care. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in November that he plans to unveil a package of measures aimed at boosting the fertility rate from about 1.2 per woman.
The government said it will pay 75 percent of the cost of reproduction technology treatments for couples, or as much as S$6,300 per cycle. Those with more than one child will also be eligible for the funding, it said.
Newborns will be granted S$3,000 in their medical accounts to help parents in health-care planning, the government said. It will also provide S$6,000 for the first two births and S$8,000 each for the third and fourth.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-21/singapore-announces-s-2-billion-package-to-increase-population.html
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