February 7, 2024
HONG KONG – The first batch of about 6,000 parents of newborns in Hong Kong are set to receive a HK$20,000 ($2,557) baby bonus from the SAR government under its campaign to boost the city’s birthrate, a spokesman for the Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration’s Office said Tuesday.
The spokesman said in a statement that the government has started distributing the Newborn Baby Bonus to eligible parents, who had applied between October and mid-January. The bonus was first announced by Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu in October as one of the measures meant to encourage couples to have more children.
“The government hopes to reverse the low level of the local birthrate to provide the manpower required for the long-term economic development of Hong Kong, and to alleviate the challenges of an ageing population,” the statement reads.
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The birth rate in Hong Kong is extremely low, at 0.9 births per woman, while the proportion of elderly people aged 65 and above is expected to increase from 20 percent to over 30 percent in the next 10 years.
Under the Newborn Baby Bonus program, which will run for three years, eligible parents will be given a one-off cash allowance of HK$20,000 as a financial incentive for each eligible baby.
The babies must be born in Hong Kong between Oct 25, 2023 and Oct 24, 2026, and either parent of the baby must be a permanent resident when applying for the bonus.
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As of Feb 3, the government has received a total of about 6,900 eligible applications for the bonus. The Legislative Council Finance Committee approved the funding for the program on Jan 19, according to the statement.