The new pro-family government is starting a program of
monthly bonuses to encourage having more childrenby Christine Niles
Only weeks after the election of the Law and Justice Party, the conservative, pro-Catholic prime minister, Beata Szydlo, made good on her campaign promise and approved a measure Tuesday that will start paying families monthly bonuses for every child beyond the first. Poor families will receive bonuses for all children. The monthly stipend will consist of 500 zlotys (about $124).
The measure will next go to the public forum for comment and debate, and must be passed by parliament before taking effect in spring 2016. Funding will come from proposed bank and supermarket taxes, among other things.
With an average of only 1.3 children per family — beneath the replacement fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman — Poland has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, raising concerns over the country's ability to keep its economy and pension system going.