Taipei hikes child birth subsidies in bid to spur population growth

03/16/2022 09:24 PM
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Pixabay photo for illustrative purpose only
Pixabay photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, March 16 (CNA) Parents in Taipei will now receive an extra NT$5,000 (US$175.16) in subsidy at the birth of their second and third child, the city government said Wednesday, citing a need to increase the city's dwindling population.

Starting Thursday, the NT$5,000 will be added to the current one-time subsidy of NT$20,000 for a second child and NT$25,000 for a third baby, in accordance with a newly amended regulation by the city government, the Taipei Department of Civil Affairs said.

The amendment was passed Wednesday as part of an effort to reverse the population decline in Taipei and create a symbiotic living circle with the neighboring cities of New Taipei and Keelung, the department said.

To that end, new residents of Taipei who move from New Taipei or Keelung after at least 10 months of residency in one of those two cities will be eligible to receive the childbirth subsidies, the department said.

In addition to the higher one-time subsidies of NT$25,000 and NT$30,000 at the birth of a second and third child, respectively, Taipei is also increasing its monthly child-raising benefits.

Starting in August, those benefits will be raised by NT$1,500, which will give parents NT$5,000 per month for a first child, NT$6,000 for a second, and NT$7,000 for a third, according to the department.

Additionally, the monthly childcare subsidy will be increased from between NT$7,000 and NT$9,000 to between NT$8,500 and NT$10,500, while public and semi-public pre-school fees will be capped at NT$3,000 per month, according to the department.

The hike in child subsidies followed the introduction of several other measures earlier in the month by Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊), who said the goal was to reverse the city's declining population.

Data from the city's department of civil affairs showed that Taipei's population had dropped from 2,704,810 in 2015 to 2,524,393 in 2021.

According to analysts, soaring housing costs, low wages, and a lack of child-care subsidies are some of the factors contributing to the steady decline of Taipei's population, as residents are moving to less costly areas, and those who remain are reluctant to have children.

(By Chen Yu-ting and James Lo)

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