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Singapore: To raise financial aid for soon-to-be parents

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The Lion City Singapore answers some of the worries of hopeful parents brought upon by the pandemic by offering a one-time payment to support the expenses of raising a family. Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat confirmed that the feedback they received from their constituents highlighting the financial strain brought by COVID-19 causes uncertainty. That worries the soon-to-be parents as income is becoming difficult to navigate in the present situation.  

The provision comes on top of the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, an existing support scheme in Singapore. Eligible parents will receive up to $10,000 in benefits. Amidst this move, the Finance Ministry reassures everyone that other support schemes for households will continue. 

Plummeting Economy

Singapore, not saved from the economic hurt the pandemic has brought. They reported last July that their GDP shrank by %12.6 during the second quarter compared to the previous year. It was the sharpest drop reported in the country, according to experts. 

Unsurprisingly, the latest fall was during the strict government limitations known to them as the circuit breaker measure. They enforced from April up to June as they experienced an abrupt rise in coronavirus cases. The action forced businesses to close, suspensions of nonessential services and workspaces as well.

It may be wrong, but it won’t be for long. Singapore was able to deflect a massive hit from the pandemic as they could do precautionary measures early. Isolation of suspected cases was done and determined ahead. Lockdowns were put in place to evade further transmissions. They were also on when it comes to using technology specifically designed for the pandemic to help them in their contract tracing efforts.  

There Aren’t Enough Babies.

Simply put, there aren’t enough birthing that is taking place in the country. The country’s fertility rate is just 1.14 births per woman as per their national statistic authority. Almost similar to Hong Kong as recorded by the World Bank. It will have to be at least 2.1 births on average for a country to repopulate itself naturally. The majority of developed countries are now at a point where they are below that average due to gender roles’ weakening. 

Fertility rates are going down globally, not only in Singapore. It has been the trend since 1980, and the country isn’t able to address it successfully ever since. This idea could be one step to ignite couples’ interest in the country once again when considering having a baby.

Jinel Franco is a Multi-Media Artist and a Content Marketing Strategist. For the past 3 years, she has helped several companies and individuals bring out the best of their brand with quality content and media.

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