“I don’t often have even one child.” Are there benefits to having more children? The Democratic Party’s ‘low birth rate pledge’ is ambiguous

Democratic Party, which made a low birth rate pledge before the general election, focuses on various aspects such as assets and care
‘Marriage-Childbirth-Childcare Dream’ measure: benefits increase as the number of children increases?
It is inappropriate for the current situation where young people avoid marriage and childbirth. Barriers to childbirth must be lowered first

The Democratic Party of Korea unveiled a low birth rate measure that provides zero interest and even a reduction in loan principal when a third child is born. On the 18th, the Democratic Party held a policy presentation chaired by Representative Lee Jae-myeong at the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul, and announced a ‘comprehensive plan for low birth rates’ containing these contents. This measure is in the nature of a pledge for the April general election, and includes all measures against low birth rates, including △housing △assets △care system △work-family balance. Among these, experts are focusing on the ‘asset’ pledge. There is no problem with the purpose itself, but vague measures were presented that would inevitably lack effectiveness if actually introduced.

Incentives based on number of children? Democratic Party’s ‘Birth Encouragement’ Policy

The core of the ‘asset’ pledge presented by the Democratic Party is the ‘marriage-childbirth-parenting dream.’ The Marriage-Childbirth-Childcare Dream is a type of marriage and childbirth subsidy system to support young people who give up marriage due to high costs. The Democratic Party provides a 100 million won loan with a maturity of 10 years to all newlyweds upon marriage, regardless of income or asset size. This is in conjunction with the low birth rate measure and provides differential reductions in principal and interest depending on the number of children born. When the first child is born, the 100 million won loan is converted to interest-free, and when the second child is born, interest-free and a 50% reduction in principal are applied. If a third child is born, a full principal discount is applied.

It also includes a parenting support plan that provides a total of 100 million won in benefits through the Our Child Raising Card and Self-Reliance Fund. The Raising Our Child Card is a policy that provides a child allowance of 200,000 won per month per child from the age of 8 to 17 in the form of a card. Our Child Self-Reliance Fund is a plan in which the government deposits 100,000 won every month into a fund account from birth (age 0) to high school graduation (age 18) to help raise a lump sum. Parents can also deposit 100,000 won per month into the account, and benefit from gift tax exemption and tax exemption on fund profits. The fund’s principal and operating profits can be withdrawn and used when the child becomes an adult.

In addition, the Democratic Party has △’Our Child Care Housing’, which provides public rental of housing differentiated according to the number of children; △’National Unlimited Liability Guarantee System for Child Care Services’, which greatly expands the scope of support for child care services and reduces out-of-pocket expenses; △Maternity. · Presented a variety of low birth rate pledges, including expanding support for childcare leave benefits and universally guaranteeing maternity and childcare leave benefits regardless of employment status, ‘preventing career interruption for women and strengthening men’s childcare leave’.

I’m not giving birth to one, so should I give birth to three?

Experts point out that there are major loopholes in the Democratic Party’s marriage-childbirth-parenting dream system. In reality, there are not many families who can benefit the most from the policy. In fact, the number of multi-child households that are beneficiaries of the marriage-childbirth-parenting dream system is decreasing over time. According to the ‘2022 Birth and Death Statistics (Provisional)’ released by Statistics Korea early last year, 62.7% (156,100) of the 249,000 babies born in 2022 were the first child. The second child rate was 30.5% (76,000 people), and the third child or higher was only 6.8% (16,800 people).

The decline in multi-child households can also be seen in the statistics on the number of births. The total number of births in 2022 decreased by 12,000 compared to the previous year. During the same period, the number of second child births decreased by 15,000 (16.7%), and the number of third child births decreased by 4,000 people (20.9%). The number of first-born children increased by 8,000 in 7 years, but this is interpreted as a ‘special effect’ caused by couples who had postponed childbirth due to COVID-19 and other factors having children. Ultimately, this means that the increase will only be temporary.

Some experts point out that the Democratic Party’s policy-making direction itself is wrong. As the number of ‘Dink’ couples who form two-person families without even having a first child is increasing, it is criticized that providing incentives for the birth of second and third children is meaningless. Now is the time to focus on the widespread avoidance of marriage and childbirth in society rather than on ‘having multiple children.’ This means that there is a need to look back at the reality of the young generation and make every effort to lower their barriers to marriage and childbirth.

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