Population minister wants legal amendment to boost parental benefits
Minister of Population Affairs Riina Solman (Isamaa) is to submit legal amendment proposals which would alter the basis on which parental benefits are calculated.
The change would mean periods of unemployment would not be taken into account, necessitated, Solman says, by the coronavirus crisis.
In other words, since short-term registered unemployment periods, during which the parent claimed benefits, would not be included in the parental benefit calculation, the latter is likely to be higher than if it was, and thus act as an incentive to have a child.
"I hope that no child would go unborn during this period as the result of the loss of their potential parents' job on a temporary basis," Solman said, adding that she hoped the demographic hit would not be as hard as it had been during the last economic crisis starting in 2008.
Solman noted that the birth rate has gone down this year, partly as an increasing number of potential parents were born during the 1990s, when the birth rate had already been lower than before.
This combined with the effects of the pandemic require additional effort to negate, Solman said, hence the proposed legal amendments.
1,044 births were registered by the population department, subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior, in October – 533 of them girls and 511 boys.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte