In my previous post, “Sentiments of a Singaporean”, one of my readers pointed out whether it is fair to burden taxpayers who are single and do not have children with heavy costs of baby bonus.
It is human nature to feel sour grape seeing others who have babies receiving monies from the government while you are ineligible. Henceforth, it is perfectly natural that they might feel jealous having to give monies to citizen who are entitled to baby bonus. After all, they themselves don’t benefit from it, while should they support such proposal?
However, if we are able to cast aside our narrow-mindedness and place national interest before us, I feel that spending the extra $4-5 billions dollars is totally justifiable. At least from the perspective of a Singaporean. After all, if we don’t implement any drastic measures to increase birth rate soon, we are going to end up paying even much more 10 – 15 years down the road.
People are our only resources. If we are unable to produce enough babies, there could be implications on our economy and defense. This is because in future, there may not be enough young adults to support ageing Singaporeans. We may also lack enough young males for national defense.
For sure, at the present birth rate, we are going to import more foreigners to support our economy. What will happen then? More competition for jobs, schools, scholarships and health-care facilities for Singaporeans who are currently “baby-boomers”, “Gen-X” and “Gen-Y”. In the long run, Singaporeans will end up paying even more, in terms of opportunity costs.
Of course, raising a child requires long term commitment, care and nurturing. Whilst baby bonus would not substitute such responsibilities, the cash gift is a useful financial support for young parents struggling to build wealth in their early stage of parenthood.
Singaporeans should be big-heart enough to look at things at the big picture and support the baby bonus. Hopefully, one day, Singaporeans would look back and realize the positive impacts of the baby bonus scheme.