Fri, Jul 06, 2012 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

More support for babymaking

A report about birth rates recently caught my attention (“Births in Taipei up 36% in 2011,” June 14, page 2). It mentioned that the birth rate in Taipei has risen by 35.95 percent this year. Also, the average age of fathers and mothers of newborns has dropped to younger ages than before.

This report stated that the Taipei city government has made some progress on raising the birth rate; however, the birth rate of Taiwan is still lower than in many other countries. According to a report by the Chinese-language daily China Times, Taiwan’s birth rate was the lowest in the world in 2010, at only 0.895 percent. Thus, I think the Taiwanese government could learn from Western countries and offer more maternity benefits and welfare support for people with newborn babies.

For example, in Canada you are not charged when you go to see a doctor (dentists being the exception) and in Sweden, tuition from elementary school to college is all free, which translates to big savings in a family’s budget. I know the main reason countries can offer these benefits is because the taxes there are much higher than in Taiwan, but I still think it is a goal Taiwanese should work toward.

I appreciate the efforts that the Taipei City government has made, but I still think that there is room for the government to improve in encouraging parents to have children.

Violet Huang

Tainan City

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