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Masagos to Perpetuate Benefits Discrimination Against Single Unwed Mothers

Government policies must “reflect the social norms and values, not parenthood within marriage. And if that shifts in future, certainly we will move with it.”

This was Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli’s response to MP Louis Ng’s question in parliament on Mon (6 Mar) on whether the MSF will consider studying the estimated costs of providing the cash component of the Baby Bonus to single unwed parents.

Currently, single unwed parents do not qualify for certain benefits given by the government to married couples with children, such as baby bonus cash payouts, gift parenthood, tax rebates, and working mothers’ child relief.

Defending the current benefits system which discriminates against single unwed parents, Masagos said:

“It is not an issue of costs, let alone whether we will study, but that each of these policies reflect prevailing societal norms and values that of parenthood within marriage.”

Stating that providing too much support could incentivise single parenthood, he added that policies cannot be reduced, reused, and recycled but must be implemented for public accountability for the purpose it was used.

He directed single unwed parents who need support to approach the Social Service Office.

The median salary for single parents under 35 is around S$700.

Over the last 5 years the number of unwed Singaporean mothers stands at around 830 a year.

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