The heavy price tag to raise a child is a major factor in the declining birth rate in developed countries, including Singapore. It is also the result of the "free market" policies adopted by these governments, that has allowed the cost to be exorbitant. Read this article:
If governments wish to see a higher birth rate, it has to recognise that the cost of raising a child (up to three in a family) should be borne by society, and not by the individual parents. Policies have to be adopted to reduce the cost burden, such as subsidised medical care for pregnancy and childbirth and access to free or subsidised education up to tertiary level.
If parents are relieved of this heavy cost, they are more inclined to take the other burden of parenting. This requires higher taxation, but it is fair. Those who choose to remain single can help to pay the parents to raise the children for the future of the nation. We have to think beyond self interest to the interest of the nation.
Tan Kin Lian