The recently-elected conservative government in Madrid has proposed giving expecting mothers €14,500 (£12,456/$17,203) in financial aid as an incentive to increase the Spanish birth rate.
The proposal was announced this week by the acting president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, a member of the Popular Party (PP), which won last month’s Madrid elections.
According to a report from the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, pregnant women under the age of 30 who have a yearly income under €30,000 (£25,771/$35,593), have lived in Madrid for at least 10 years, and are at least five months pregnant will be eligible for the cash.
The aid will be structured in monthly instalments of €500 (£430/$593) over a period from the fifth month of pregnancy to the second birthday of the child.
Fertility Falls in EU, Not ONE Country Hits Population Replacement Level https://t.co/C0ASzuOBms
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The government estimates that annually, between 12,000 and 14,000 women will be eligible for the benefit and that the total cost will be around €250 million (£215m/$297m) per year.
The Madrid proposal comes as Spain saw birthrates fall to a historic low last year, according to Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE).
Over the last decade, Spain has seen a 27.3 per cent decline in birth rates and the average age of mothers has increased from 28.5 in 1985 to 32.3 in 2020, a figure that has not been under the age of 30 since 1995.
Pau Miret, a researcher at the Centre for Demographic Studies, noted that at least 20 per cent of the female population were now too old to have children.
“In the 80s, Spain was one of the countries with the highest fertility in Europe and remained so until the economic crisis of 2008. Then everything was cut short, births fell, and Spain went from having a birth rate of the highest to one of the lowest in Europe and the entire world,” Miret said.
Hungary, meanwhile, has become one of the most pro-family governments in Europe. Like Madrid, Hungary has offered cash incentives for couples to have children and enacted a policy of scrapping income tax for life to mothers of four or more children.
In August of last year, Hungarian Family Minister Katalin Novák revealed that following the pro-family policies, the Hungarian birthrate had increased by five per cent in the first half of last year.
Pro-Family Hungary Birthrates Up Five Per Cent so Far in 2020 https://t.co/RArAeVqmAB
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