Before the increment, parents of newborn Singaporean babies received $4,000 cash gifts, but the increase will see them receive $6,000. The cash gift will be applicable for the first two children of every couple and a $8,000 incentive will be paid for every couple’s 3rd and 4th babies. Fathers will also be entitled to 1 week paternity leave effective from May 1st this year.
The incentive is not only meant to promote population growth, but also offset high costs related to raising babies. The city-state’s birth rate is said to have been at 1.2 children for every woman, while the ideal rate required to sustain the population is 2.1. The high cost of living has always been one of the grievances of young couples in Singapore and the government introduced the incentive to encourage them to start families.
Eligibility is based on citizenship where one of the baby’s parents must be a citizen of Singapore. Housing was also addressed with priority given to the parents of at least 1 child who is below 16 years to buy the affordable government-built flats.