Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Parents could get priority when booking HDB flats: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged Singaporeans to help boost the country’s birth rate. In return, the government is planning to give couples with young children the priority over others when booking HDB flats.

In his National Day Speech on Sunday, Mr Lee also stated that the government plans to implement paternity leave or some form of it.

Moreover, the government is looking at other measures, taking views from a public consultation exercise before the White Paper on population is released next January.

PM Lee highlighted that housing issues are now “off the boil” as more flats come on-stream.

“I think that we should give some consideration to giving couples with young kids priority when they book HDB flats,” he added.

“Firstly it will solve their problem faster. Secondly, it may encourage them to have a kid so that the flat will come faster.”

In other countries, people get married, have children and save up to buy a house, whereas “in Singapore, it's the other way round. House first. Then you think about marriage. Then you think about kids”, he said.

Mr Lee added that keeping maternity leave to 16 weeks “was about all right” as employers have serious concerns to attend to.

However, paternity leave in some form, “either you give some to the husband or you make some of the maternity leave convertible, we have said 'no' for a very long time, but I think it's time we change”.

View the original article here

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