Singapore is all set to offer a one-time payment to aspiring parents during the coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s deputy prime minister said the incentive would help reassure people who face financial pressure and are worried about their jobs.
Heng Swee said the payment would help parents with expenses, but he did not confirm how much would be paid out.
Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, a statistic that successive governments have attempted unsuccessfully to reverse.
The fertility rate now stands at just 1.14 births per woman, according to its national statistics body.
Over the years, Singapore’s government has organized speed dating and other matchmaking services in a mostly futile attempt to encourage procreation. It also provides dollar-for-dollar matching services for savings accounts that are set up for newborns.
The country has avoided the worst of the global pandemic, isolating suspected cases early, imposing strict lockdowns when clusters of infections became apparent, and using technological innovations to rush out a contact tracing network. Just 27 people have died as a result of Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Source: CNN and NY TIMES