Spain’s baby bonus

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You know when the Australian government decided to play with people’s incentives to time births with the introduction of the baby bonus and successive increments to it, I thought it was a unique government that would so ignore the basics of sensible policy management that we wouldn’t see the likes of it again. Well, Germany has proved me wrong. Russia has proved me wrong. And now Spain proves me wrong. From The Guardian [HT: Richard Speed]

The year may not yet be at its end, but Spain‘s doctors are already reporting a slew of año nuevo admissions.

Their patients, though, are not prematurely exuberant cava casualties – they are pregnant women intent on giving birth before midnight on Friday so they can claim the last of the government’s €2,500 (£2,128) “baby cheques”.

The cheque bebé – which was introduced in July 2007 in an attempt to boost Spain’s low birthrate – is about to be axed in a round of new year public spending cuts, but many mothers are not prepared to give up without a fight.

I’m not sure that the Australian government should take comfort from all this but, suffice it to say, it is not alone.

2 Responses to "Spain’s baby bonus"
  1. Obviously the timing incentive is unconscionable. However, at least Spain and Russia do have a fertility problem (TFR of 1.3 and 1.4 respectively) that needs fixing. Australia never really had a big fertility problem (lowest TFR was 1.73) and we have high immigration. Our baby bonus was a bad policy, over and above its being badly implemented.

    Good luck to the politician who tries to revoke it. We’re stuck with it!

  2. In a world of 7 billion people why is anyone paying anyone to have children?
    Should we be paying people not to have children?

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