Nov 7, 2012

Building families with bricks, not straw |

Building families with bricks, not straw |

The above is written by Elaine Ee.

"In fact, this is where I think the government is totally barking up the wrong tree.

If it wants people to have more kids, they need to come up with policies that make a difference in people’s lives. Not policies that are so afraid of creating dependency they veer in the other direction—and end up being crumbs from our Treasury’s table that might get you through a little bit, but leave fundamental issues unresolved. Which, essentially, is what Baby Bonus does. It relies hugely on parents’ ability to contribute to the scheme, so the poorer the parents are the less they benefit from it. Ironic isn’t it, when the people who need Baby Bonus the most are the poorest parents."

"If you look at the examples IRAS uses on its website to illustrate this, that becomes clear. Example 1, says IRAS, talks about ‘Mrs Heng’ who has six children and earns $100,000 a year; and example 2, looks at ‘Mrs Lim’ who has eight children and earns $350,000 a year. Well. You’d be hard pressed to find women with that many children in Singapore (or anywhere these days, outside impoverished or religious communities that eschew birth control), and the ones that do are very, very unlikely to be making that amount of money. Why did IRAS come up with these slightly ridiculous examples then? Because it’s at that size of family and level of income that the working mothers’ child relief is optimal, which means that for the average earner, the tax savings isn’t very big."

Actually, a poor family will get $8,000 welfare for 2 kids, while a rich or "middle-income" family will enjoy $80,000 in benefits for 2 kids. (Grace Fu and Child Benefits) And, yes, in the "slightly ridiculous example" of a very rich woman with eight children, the benefit will be more than a million dollars.

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