Give new parents HK$20,000 to fight Hong Kong’s declining birth rate, says pro-Beijing New People’s Party

A pro-Beijing political party has urged Hong Kong leader John Lee to act to prevent the city’s birth rate from falling further by offering a HK$20,000 cash grant to new parents in his first speech Politics. The New People’s Party has also suggested donating HK$50,000 to people who choose to freeze their eggs or sperm.

The New People’s Party presented its suggestions to the Chief Executive on 15 September. Photo: provided.

The party, which has five seats in the city’s legislature, presented its suggestions to the chief executive at a press conference on Thursday.

Citing figures from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, party chairwoman Regina Ip said the city’s birth rate – at 0.75 – was lowest among developed economies. The global average was 2.32, while Japan, known for its aging population, was 1.30.

To encourage Hong Kongers to have more children, Ip said the administration should take reference from other countries and offer “baby bonuses” to parents. She suggested that each family be given HK$20,000 for giving birth and estimated that it would cost the government HK$740 million a year.

“Of course, it can’t offset the costs of bringing up a child, but it might encourage them. You can think of the baby bonus as a red packet for parents,” Ip said.

Regina Ip, president of the New People’s Party. Photo: supplied.

Additionally, Ip said authorities should offer HK$50,000 to people who choose to use fertility preservation services “to encourage childbearing among young couples with a high level of education or income. “.

Delay the retirement age

The New People’s Party also said policymakers should not see Hong Kong’s aging population as a burden, but rather focus on the benefits the older generation can bring to society.

He recommended raising the retirement age for all office workers to 65 and raising the retirement age to 60 for members of the disciplined services, as well as providing them with economic incentives to continue. to work.

The New People’s Party presented its suggestions to the Chief Executive on 15 September. Photo: provided.

Currently, clerical workers who were hired before June 2015 can retire as soon as they turn 60, while the retirement age for disciplinary forces was 55 or 57. Those hired after June 2015 had the same retirement ages suggested by New People’s Party.

Meanwhile, to improve Hong Kong’s attractiveness to international talent, the party said the administration should exempt them from paying stamp duty if they were to buy their first residence in the city after working here for at least three years.

The chief executive is expected to announce his first policy speech on October 19. Political parties from all walks of life, including the opposition Democratic Party, presented their suggestions to the administration.

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