Kaohsiung offers mothers more incentives to have babies

Kaohsiung, May 12 (CNA) Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu said her city government is offering a 48-hour home-visit service to mothers who give birth to a second child, under an initiative that took effect in April . As part of the city government's policy to encourage young couples to have more children, women having a second child are offered a package that includes assistance in preparing meals, and bathing and feeding the baby at home, Chen said. Previously, the service was only available to couples having their first baby, she said at a Mother's Day celebration. Those having a third child will not be offered the service because they already qualify for a cash incentive of NT$46,000 (US$1,548), Chen said. In an effort to boost Taiwan's declining birth rate, local governments have come up with several incentives to encourage families to have more children. Taipei City government, for example, offers families NT$20,000 for each new birth and a monthly stipend of NT$2,500 until the child reaches the age of five. Kaohsiung City's maternal assistance program for the first two births in a family has won praise from locals. (By Wang Shu-fen and S.C. Chang)