Santiago, Chile, Jun 10, 2013 / 11:18 am
In an effort to reverse the country's low birth rate, President Sebastian Pinera of Chile has announced a proposal to offer financial incentives to couples who have three or more children.
The measure, announced on May 21, would benefit all women apply regardless of income level and would entail a one-time payment of approximately $200 for a couple's third child. It would increase to $300 for the fourth child and $400 for the fifth.
Catalina Siles, a researcher at the Institute for Societal Studies, told CNA the proposal brings to the forefront an issue that has been absent in the public debate and in the priorities of the government.
"The credit is not intended to solve the underlying problem and much less oblige families to have children, but instead it is a step, a positive measure," she said, labeling criticism of the bill as "a bit unfair."