Many countries face an declining and aging population. People are getting married later, and producing fewer children. Singapore face worse than many countries.
The root cause is the desire of women to compete with men in the working world. Many give priority to a university degree and a steady career. By the time that they are ready to get married and start a family, they are in their late 20s or early 30s. This is past their most productive years.
To change this trend requires a new approach by the government. The state should be willing to bear a larger part of the cost of raising children, and reduce the burden on the individual family.
I propose that each non-working mother should be given an adequate monthly allowance for each child, up to a maximum of three children in the family. The amount should be adequate to meet 80% of the cost of raising the child, and can be paid until the child is 18 years old. I think that a suitable sum is $500 per child.
This will encourage more women to choose to stop work and to raise a family. The women may marry at a younger age and produce a family with 2 or 3 children. The family will not need to depend on foreign maids.
This family payment will be an added cost to the state, and will have to be met with higher taxation. I think that the people who choose not to have children should share in the national cost of producing our next generation.
Many countries already have generous family allowances, of the type proposed by me. They have problems in implementing the benefits, which can be abused. I am sure that we can find a way to prevent the abuse, and focus on the positive aspect of this proposal.
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