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Mrs Josephine Teo cautioned against concluding that measures to encourage parenthood were not working, noting that "society as a whole needs to make marriage and parenthood achievable, enjoyable and celebrated".
The personal lives of Singaporeans were examined in detail in Parliament yesterday, as MPs wrung their hands over Singapore's low birth rate.
The low total fertility rate (TFR) was a particular bugbear for MPs such as Mr Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC) and Mr Gan Thiam Poh (Ang Mo Kio GRC).
Mr Yong asked during the debate on the PMO's budget why the TFR remained low despite a slew of government support schemes like the baby bonus, and whether it would fall further.
At 1.2, the TFR is way below the replacement level of 2.1.
Mrs Teo warned against concluding that the measures to encourage parenthood were not working.
The minister said Singapore's TFR had fallen below replacement levels for some 40 years, and had stabilised at the current rate for the past 15 years, noting that these same trends have played out in developed East Asian societies like Japan and South Korea.