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Singapore aims to lower cost of raising children and create a family-friendly environment

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that creating a family-friendly environment goes beyond family-friendly policies and that support on the ground is also crucial

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High on the list of priorities among fourth-generation leaders within the Singaporean government is to assist couples in their desire to achieve a harmonious and well-balanced family life. This was what Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo underscored yesterday. The minister made it clear that this aspiration is a significant facet of the leaders’ vision for Singapore.

The matter was brought up during the announcement on Wednesday last week that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee formed last month has renewed speculation about an impending election which is due by April 2021.

“What Singaporeans would like to know is how can we move forward together as one nation. And what can we do in terms of building a future that meets all of our aspirations. “One important aspiration for young couples is families. And this is part of that sort of a vision for the future,” Minister Teo said.

She also stressed this matter is her area of concentration in the larger Singapore Together movement – the citizen engagement exercise prompted by 4G leaders to have Singaporeans collaborate in the designing and implementation of solutions across a wider range of issues and policy areas.

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Relative to this, she has launched a CitizensPanel on work-life harmony, and an important aspect of it is involving citizens in the conversation, she said.

“It is not top down. It is not exactly bottom up either. It is different stakeholders coming together, appreciating each other’s perspectives, and then together collectively, setting the path forward,” she noted.

Just recently, Mrs Teo made the announcement on pro-family measures that will help to bring down the expense of bringing up children, including higher subsidies for childcare and more Government co-funding for assisted reproductive technology.

Meanwhile, associated with the pro-family initiatives, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong is scheduled to talk about how the Government intends to enhance housing support, she announced.

According to Minister Teo, creating a family-friendly environment goes beyond family-friendly policies. She believes that support on the ground is also crucial, and events such as the one at Safra help to give young families a sense that “everyone is behind them, supporting them, encouraging them, and also helping them to make parenthood a very enjoyable experience.”
The Minister thinks that it is significant and hopes that these kinds of measures and endeavours will nurture a sense of family friendliness for everyone in the country. -/TISG
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