Reviewing marriage and parenthood policies

This issue has been discussed and reviewed so many times over the past few years: Singapore’s low fertility rate. Singapore’s current total fertility rate is at 1.20.

It was recently announced by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean that the government’s National Population and Talent Division will be reviewing the country’s policies and measures that would encourage Singaporeans to wed, settle down and start a family of their own. He also added that he is looking forward to feedback and ideas on creating a favourable pro-family environment in Singapore.

Young Singaporeans are a really tough bunch to please. We claim to find “difficulty” in getting the right partner (perhaps it is because of the cultural change that women and men can remain single and not starting a family isn’t such a bad thing), or that it is expensive to get married and buy properties, and yes, raising a child comes at a price, literally. Such changes in terms of government policies should technically help couples or future couples settle down and have babies of their own. The government, as announced in various media conferences etcetera, is trying to help couples in starting the family. Singapore is an aging population and the government is trying to be as supportive as it possibly can in its policies.

But there really is just so much that the government and whatever policies they come up with can do to help and encourage Singaporeans to settle down and have children. The real issue here is the mindsets and attitudes of the young Singaporeans: they have changed. Women; we don’t need to stay at home and be a “housewife” to cook, clean and look after the children. No, we can have a career and have a kid (4 months of paid maternity leave is a real plus point here). Honestly I think the younger generation just think differently: we are getting married at an older age and most settle for 1 child.

Whatever it is, know that the policies should technically help families or couples in their decision to start a family.

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