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Thursday 27th October 2016

Cash for babies in Taiwan

6th April 2010

The Taiwan government may begin to pay people who decide to have children.


The move is part of an effort to boost the birth rate there, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's lowest.

Lao Song Elementary School in the island's capital, Taipei, once the largest elementary school in the world with more than 11,000 students, today has only 778 pupils.

The government may end up giving up to 5,000 Taiwan dollars (about £100) per child per month to such families.

The Taiwanese government said that it hoped to raise public willingness to have children, with measures that helped people look after their children and improve their standard of living.

Because the authorities in Taiwan believe that the low birth rate will mean a shortage of workers in the future, they have offered people various incentives to have children.

Falling birth-rates may threaten the island's export-driven economy, which is worth about £250 billion pounds.

Taiwan's fast-developing competitors in East and Southeast Asia may overtake the island's economy within the next 15 years.

Hu Chung-ying, deputy minister of the Taiwan cabinet's Council for Economic Planning and Development said that, without a young generation, there would not be a labour force, which made the government worry.

As part of the effort to persuade women to have more children, the government has started an online contest with a cash prize worth nearly £21,000 that managed to attract 1,000 people within a few hours.

The person who writes the best slogan for promoting childbearing in Taiwan will win the money.

Last year, the birth rate in Taiwan was about 12 births per 1,000 people below the global average, according to United Nations statistics.

Taiwanese people had 191,310 children in 2009, a 4% fall from the previous year.

Germany, Japan, Italy, and Hong Kong are the only places in the world where the birth rate is lower than in Taiwan.


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