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Friday, August 22, 2008

baby bonus bonanza!

aside from being sick these past few days with this awful cough, i'm really a very happy camper this week due to the announcement of the new baby bonuses to encourage singaporeans to get married and have babies to up the dismal birth rate of 1.29.

some of the benefits i'll be enjoying:
  • 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, up from the previous 12 weeks
  • higher percentage of my income is eligible for tax relief (15%)
  • Parenthood Tax Rebate on income tax of SGD5000
  • SGD4000 baby bonus cash gift, up from SGD3000
  • Dollar-for-dollar match of up to SGD6000 into Child Development Account
initially when the new incentives were announced at the prime minister's national day rally, he made no indication of the implementation date and i was left on tenterhooks and crossing my fingers hoping that i would be eligible. my heart fell when on tuesday they announced that only babies born on or after 1st jan 2009 would be eligible. i felt a little (well ok.. VERY) disgruntled that i was going to be left out. i mean, i'm not any less pregnant than the women who were going to deliver in january, was i? so how come they get to benefit but not me?

the whale has been appeased though :) the announcement came through last night that they were backdating the policy change and so all babies born after August 17th 2008 (the date of the national day rally speech) would be eligible. and that includes evie!

i'm not so much focussed on the financial incentives that are being offered to me. i just really wanted the extra 4 weeks of maternity leave so that i could spend more time with my baby at home before going to work. this means that if all goes well with my cow-self, i should at least be able to breastfeed for 5 months and she'll be ready for weaning to solids by the time i go back to work in late February :D

happy happy happy camper


rinaz said...

I'm really happy for you :)

I do hope that the new scheme works out for future mothers :)

farrah said...

thanks rinaz! the buzz online is kinda mixed though at the moment i'm lucky to be working in the civil service so i know i'll get my benefits. worried for the new mothers employed in the private sector though..

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