Singapore’s government has announced that it will be giving a one-time additional payment to people hoping to be parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, October 5, while appearing before parliament, Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Prime Minister said the payment will go a long way in increasing the Southeast Asia country’s population and birthrate that has for years been an all-time low.
According to Heng, the COVID-19 pandemic had threatened to exonerate the situation since most people aspiring to be parents had put aside the plans owing to dwindling income and job insecurity occasioned by the scourge.
The prime minister told lawmakers:
“We have received feedback that COVID-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans. This is fully understandable, especially when they face uncertainty with their income.
Hence, to help with expenses during this period, we will introduce a one-off additional support for newborns.”
Delivered my Ministerial Statement in Parliament today to set out the context for the Supplementary Supply Bill that will allocate resources for the measures announced in August.
I shared a stocktake of where we are now, and where we are headed. Our people and businesses are in the thick of battling COVID-19. We have adapted together, and we continue to do so as the situation evolves.
Today, I announced that we will be providing one-off additional support for parents with newborns, on top of the Baby Bonus Cash Gift. I also extended the support provided to firms, including the Temporary Bridging Loan and the MAS Singapore Dollar Facility for Enterprise Singapore Loans by six months.
Singapore is at a defining phase of this crisis. We are building on our Industry Transformation Maps to deliver a refreshed economic strategy for a post-COVID-19 world — reposition our businesses to capture new opportunities in Asia, digitalisation, innovation, and to build a more resilient and sustainable economy.
We must better prepare our people to take on these new opportunities and bounce back from setbacks. But given the great uncertainty ahead, we have to remain vigilant, and continue to adapt as we move ahead. Only then, can we emerge from this pandemic stronger as an economy, as a society, and as one people.