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Wanted: More Babies Needed in Singapore

Singapore’s total fertility rate has decreased to an all-time low at 1.16 percent. To increase population, the government proposes to increase the number of foreign workers and residents in the prosperous city state. What are the reactions of bloggers?

The baby incentives or bonuses need to be overhauled, according to Singapore Notes

The Children Development Account (CDA) is good only until your child turns 6 years of age. From year 7, you're on your own. Don't bother with the mathematics – the university fees for a 4 year course alone will wipe out the most generous of the financial incentive packages

My Little Corner explains the contradiction between increasing feritility and the demand to be more productive in the office

There is no way that you can increase productivity and fertility at the same time. They contradict each other.

The key to a healthy family environment is always your family. Does it help that both the husband and wife have to work late hours and sometimes even over weekends, stuck in the drive for the “increased productivity” that is forced upon them?

How will this “increase productivity” affect your child? Will your child even treat you as family since you are perpetually at work and they see others more than you?

Gerald Giam criticizes the “mismanaged” immigration policies of the government

Young Singaporeans cite a variety of reasons for not having more children: Too busy at work, cost of living too high, education system too stressful for children (and their parents), cannot find a place of their own to stay.

Many of these reasons are linked to overcrowding and steeper competition, which are, to a large extent, the result of the mismanaged immigration policies of this government.

Using humor, groundnotes suggests the adoption of breeding techniques in zoos

It’s time we look to the experts. And I don’t mean cheap dating agencies or waste-of-money Singapore Dating Network. I’m talking about the real experts – the zoos!

The best zoos around the world have good animal breeding programmes with high return rates. Exotic and endangered animals are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity but, hey, if they can raise the number of American Condors, there may be hope yet for Singaporeans.

The Lycan Times reminds the government to bring down the cost of living to increase the fertility rate

In short, the best way to raise the fertility rate is to give us real affordable housing and bring down the cost of living. All of this will require some hard work and far reaching policies that will take time to be effective

Kelvin Tan has a similar proposal

As for the middle group of income earners in the workforce, they need drastic reductions in cost of child birth and upbringing. Singapore needs to spend generously on child delivery costs, school costs etc. Parents with kids should be given weekly allowances. In other words, it should become highly attractive to have children. Indeed it will be a costly policy but the returns are higher than what is required to pay for this policy.

My Singapore News writes that the government should consider subsidizing the needs of kids

If the problem is social and financial cost, then the problem needs to be addressed at the national level. If young couples find it prohibitive to raise children, whose fault is it? Many young couples are thinking people and know how costly it is to raise kids in this high cost hot house. How about the govt taking over the role of bringing up kids, only the financing part?

Cloudywind lists the reasons why married couples are not having children

Because more married couples are put off by the idea that they have to queue up over-night for their kids’ place in a kindergarten.

Because more married couples are still saving up for the medical costs to give birth.

Because more married women want to keep their promotions.

Because more married women want to keep their jobs.

Because more married couples are busy working OT to be Cheaper, Better, Faster.

Because more unmarried couples could not find a reasonable flat that is affordable.

Because more singles could not find a Singapore-born Singaporean boyfriend/girlfriend.

Thumbnail from the twitpic page of chibified

4 comments

  • […] That’s not to be taken for granted in general, as having kids is in itself a question of affordabilty. And, again that’s worth more individual consideration, this is valid not just in financially restricted environments. have an article begging for our attention: […]

  • Rick Stewart

    Economists generally agree parents decide to have, or not to have, children based on ‘opportunity costs,’ not the ‘cost’ of paying for a child.

    Wealthy people have to give up a lot to have a child (it takes away from their work time, their vacation time, their socializing with friends time).

    Poorer people’s time is not worth so much, since their jobs don’t pay much, they don’t take vacations, and their socializing tends to be very local (as in – front porch).

    Therefore poor people have more children, since their opportunity cost is much less.

  • gie

    I have a friend working in Singapore and as a domestic helper, she also takes care of the pet dogs who are considered the ‘children’ of her employer. The dogs,according to her, consume a big amount of money to maintain their expensive foods and care…sigh…the employers cannot sacrifice their lifestyle – too rich yet too engrossed with materialism…

  • Rick Stewart

    Actually, I would prefer rich people who don’t have time to take care of their dogs and have to hire it out, have dogs instead of children.

    I would also like a law making it illegal for all pet owners to vote in favor of government subsidized social programs for poor people. If they think poor people don’t get enough money already, why don’t they take some money away from their pets and give it to those poor people, rather than passing a law saying I have to do even more than I already am!

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