Youth group suggests HK$30,000 baby subsidy

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups urged the government to give new parents a subsidy of up to HK$30,000 and extra days off work for several years to encourage more people to have children, RTHK reports.

This comes as a survey the federation conducted suggested that money worries are the most common reason that people are reluctant to start a family, followed by housing concerns.

The federation interviewed 520 people aged between 20 and 39. About 18 percent said they did not plan to have children.

Around 70 percent said they think the ideal number of children is two, but only half were hoping for this for themselves.

Alan Yip, who carried out the survey, said parents can currently enjoy tax allowances but not everyone can benefit from this. He said the cash subsidy his group is proposing would offer short-term relief for new parents.

He said the government could also introduce other family-friendly measures, such as parental leave of six days a year for new parents until their children are six years old.

"The government can take a more proactive and encouraging role in terms of support in giving birth," he said.

The federation said the city's workforce will shrink in view of the aging population and therefore it's important to find various ways to encourage people to have children.