In a desperate attempt to convince couples to have more babies, Singapore's government is offering a bonanza of tax benefits, leaves and other perks starting January.
Leaders are worried that the insufficient number of live births could threaten future economic, labour and defence requirements.
The new plan is to create a more "family-friendly" Singapore and help reduce some of the financial burden that comes with a new baby.
Here is the proposed plan rumored to be costing 1.6 billion Singapore dollars (1.1 billion US dollars)
- parents can claim 4,000 Singapore dollars (2,857 US dollars) in child tax relief, which is double the current 2,000 Singapore dollars.
- Working mothers can claim more: 15 per cent for the first child instead of 5 per cent.
- In total, the amount parents can claim for a child each year has doubled to 50,000 Singapore dollars (35,714 US dollars).
- A bigger cash "Baby Bonus" will be given for the first and second child; 4,000 Singapore dollars (2,857 US dollars) instead of 3,000 Singapore dollars.
- Paid maternity leave will increase from 12 to 16 weeks for mothers.
- The government will also pay part of the cost for fertility treatments for women under 40.
Australia currently offers their new moms $5,000 (married or single) tax free, when they deliver their baby.
Labels: baby benefits, Birth Rates, pregnancy