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Tue, Mar 12, 2013
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Should single mums get the same perks? (Part 1)
by Benson Ang

Sociologist, Aware: Yes


Dr Chua Beng Huat, sociologist, National University of Singapore

The Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware)


Single unwed mothers should have the same privileges as married couples (and divorcees and widows).

Social stigma and policies unfriendly to single unwed mums contribute to the 12,000 abortions here a year. Those babies would have added to the country's population - alleviating some concerns about the country's fertility rate.

Prominent sociologist Chua Beng Huat made the argument recently that if more mothers were encouraged to keep their babies, Singapore would have added to its population.

He argued that Singapore has about 12,000 abortions a year, due in part to single mothers fearing the social stigma that comes with raising a child in such circumstances.

Elaborating on his views, he tells The New Paper on Sunday that Singapore should follow the example of France and some Scandinavian countries, where single mothers get more acceptance.

In those countries, a permissiveness in family structures has sustained high birth rates - at times higher among unmarried couples than married ones, he says.

"Giving benefits to single parents is not the same as encouraging single motherhood," he says.

If a single unwed mother works, she is entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave and two days of childcare leave a year until the child turns seven.

But unlike married, divorced or widowed mothers, these mothers do not get the Baby Bonus cash gift or Marriage and Parenthood tax benefits.

Aware has also consistently petitioned the Government to help single mothers as one way to boost the birth rate. In a press release, it said that the continued denial of maternity and parenting benefits for the families of unwed mothers was a "disappointing omission" from the Government's most recent enhancement of the Marriage and Parenthood package.

It felt that the policy to deny benefits to unwed mothers also contradicts the Government's direction to give every child an equal start in life.

Assistant Professor Teo You Yenn, an Aware board member and a sociology lecturer at the Nanyang Technological University, adds: "We would further add that discrimination is detrimental to building an inclusive society and a sense of community, where people feel a sense of mutual responsibility towards each others' well-being."

What perks they get

Married parents of Singaporean children generally get:

  • Baby Bonus: $6,000 cash each for first and second child, and $8,000 each for third and fourth child.

  • Parenthood Tax Rebate of $5,000 for their first child, $10,000 for the second child, and $20,000 for the third and each subsequent child.

  • 16 weeks of paid maternity leave

  • 1 week of paid paternity leave

  • Six days of paid childcare leave a year if the child is below seven years old, or two days if the child is aged seven to 12.

  • Subsidies for infant care and childcare

  • Levy concession for foreign domestic worker

  • Medisave grant for newborns

  • MediShield coverage for congenital and neonatal conditions

Unwed mums of Singaporean babies generally get:

  • No Baby Bonus

  • No Parenthood Tax Rebate

  • 12 weeks of maternity leave, of which eight weeks are paid

  • Two days of paid childcare leave if the child is below seven years old

  • Subsidies for infant care and childcare

  • Levy concession for foreign domestic worker

  • Medisave grant for newborns

  • MediShield coverage for congenital and neonatal conditions

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readers' comments
Once single mums are given the same perks, the whole notion of family breaks down.
Posted by Rraymond on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 18:16 PM
Unless, those single mums can prove that their partner is dead with a death certificate, single mums should never get any perks at all. When you opened up your legs and enjoyed your orgasm without considering the responsibility of falling pregnant and having a kid. The d_ick guy who you opened up your legs for run away for his responsibility. The state is not to be blamed nor help you to support your kid. It is you and your deadbeat partner who have to shared the responsibility and finally the pain. Enjoy your years of pain as you enjoy your minutes or even seconds of joy.
Posted by working_class on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 17:50 PM
Posted by johnnykwek on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 17:12 PM
Do U think this is just an "assumption" ??? Here is Singapore leh ... female got lots of protections and rights whether she want to open legs or not, whether she allow male to shoot inside raw, and whether she want to keep the fertilized egg or not ..... male only tadpole donor and provides sextisfaction with females' multiple consents issued (if not will end up rolex-ed and prostituted by men) .... no??? :D :D

Posted by Small Fly on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 17:05 PM
Why must we always assume that there is only the female part to the parenting equation?
Posted by johnnykwek on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 17:00 PM
Someone hacked into Ah Goon's account to make this post??? :eek: :eek: :eek:

This is not the same Ah Goon I know all these while leh! (I scared now) .... our Ah Goon only ban, terkan, insult and humiliate my posts niah .... :o :D

Posted by Small Fly on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 16:56 PM
Unfortunately these young single mums didnt read the maternity rules and policies carefully before getting themselves pregnant. get pregnant first, then clamour the govt for help.
Posted by marinalink on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 16:19 PM
no no no. dont ever encourage single mum policy here. Just simply getting more and more irresponsible women. Do You wan to see SG like the early day Vietam Children with unmark papa from the west .
Posted by dinofande on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 16:03 PM
we should not support single mum for any other reasons..

In UK, girl just open legs wide...and the state have to provides furtured housing free for them and monthly allowance for the baby and mun.....
And this practise just repeat itself.....

As time pass....the single mun had difference color babies.....
Posted by koonmin2011 on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 14:19 PM
they are so pitiful
Posted by marinalink on Tue, 12 Mar 2013 at 13:35 PM

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