World Bulletin/News Desk
The government is preparing to introduce incentives of up to TL 5,000 for parents who have three children as a measure against the country's ageing population, an issue which has become increasing apparent in recent years.
The debate on the country's ageing population appeared on its agenda about two years ago, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began advocating for families to have at least three children. Since then, Erdoğan has repeatedly used every given opportunity to encourage families to have more children.
By doing so, the prime minister hopes to combat the adverse effects of an ageing population, including an insufficient number of participants in the workforce and rising welfare spending.
The government set out to promote the “three children project,” comprising various incentives, after the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) published demographic figures in January showing a drop in the rate of population growth from 1.3 percent in 2011 to 1.2 percent last year.
The Family and Social Policy Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Labor began cooperating to find the right incentives to address Turkey's ageing population problem.
One of the incentives that the ministries plan to introduce would give families TL 5,000 upon the birth of their third child. Another incentive aims to help working mothers.
A “flexible working system” will be adopted by the government that will encourage working women to have children. According to this incentive plan, working mothers will be able to spend a certain amount of time at home with their children.
The details of the plan, including all of the planned incentives, will be made public by the prime minister in the coming days.
An increase in maternity leave for women from eight weeks to 16 weeks is also expected to be part of the new incentive plan.
The data released by TurkStat in January also showed that the median age of the population, had hit the above-30 mark for the first time at 30.1, up from 29.7 in 2011. No sooner had the data about the slowing population growth rate been released then the country's development and finance ministers announced that they were working on incentives to try to reverse the trend.
In one of his interviews, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who oversees the economy, said that Erdoğan had instructed him to lead the efforts, which would require the “implementation of very rational measures” so as not to upset the budget balance.Last Mod: 15 Mayıs 2013, 10:05