SOCIAL ACTION PLAN—FERTILITY RATE
The fertility rate dropped to 1.16 in Singapore last year, it was already at an alarming record low of 1.22 in 2009, well below the natural replacement level of 2.1 babies.
Despite measures to encourage marriage and procreation, Singapore's TFR fell from 1.28 in 2008 to 1.22 in 2009 and 1.16 in 2010.
For the Chinese community, it was 1.02 in 2010, down from 1.14 in 2008 and 1.08 in 2009. For the Malay community, it was 1.65 last year, down from 1.91 in 2008 and 1.82 in 2009. The Indian community, too, has been facing declining fertility rates: 1.19 in 2008, 1.14 in 2009 and at 1.13 last year.
The average household size shrank from 3.7 ...view middle of the document...
Many claim that they get tired from the many hours of work and thus have not enough time to think about or make babies. Others say that to bring a child up in Singapore is not an easy job for both the parent and the child because of the high education standards and the expensive school fees.
To encourage and convince Singaporeans to make more babies to increase the fertility rate, the Government introduced Baby Bonus Schemes as a market-based economic incentive to try to modify the attitudes towards having children. Some of benefits are to get cash gifts, and the amount of the cash gifts increases as more children are produced per household and tax subsidies. The Government also increased the maternity leave from 2 to 4 years.
However, few Singaporeans were convinced to produce more babies. Therefore, the Government brought in more immigrants from overseas to help produce more babies to increase the fertility rate. Lee Kuan Yew mentioned that young immigrants are needed otherwise Singapore will rapidly age and shrink. As a result, many Singaporeans are unhappy about the influx of foreigners.
What is lacking? What is wrong? Probably, the main problem in this matter is because the Government have concentrated too much on the economic progress of Singapore. Singapore progressed in a very fast rate, but the needs of many of the people have not progressed. Thus, there is a big gap in the economic status and the needs of people. It makes it hard for the people to keep up with the economic progress and it makes the cost of living high for the people. Therefore, money is valuable and time is rare and appreciated by Singaporeans.
The Government did put in baby...