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Is raising child birth allowances a good way to encourage fertility?

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs will propose the government to triple the second child birth allowance by July 1st, 2018, setting 150,000 AMD instead of 50,000. The newly appointed RA Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilian made a note in her Facebook page noting that she will propose a corresponding change in the Government Decree “On determining the size of a lump-sum benefit of the child, establishing a one-off benefit payment and payment order”. The vision of increasing birth allowances has also been found in the new government’s program.


Minister Mane Tandilian justifies her revolutionary initiative on the birth benefits. “Demographic problems and a high level of poverty are among the top priorities of the government’s social sector, where there are many issues. Understanding that all problems cannot be solved at once and at the same time, the ministry every day within the available resources will make the most of the smallest achievements. ”


In addition to positive feedback, the news about this initiative caused concern  in the public, also voiced by experts. Thus, former Executive Representative of the United Nations Population Fund Armenia Garik Hayrapetyan, whose activity was officially linked to demographic problems, thinks that it will be ineffective. Hayrapetyan notes on his Facebook page that he worked for many years in order to reach out to politics to avoid fertility promotion through financial means. In particular, he mentions when this financial inclination is insignificant. Instead, it is proposed to create a system and conditions, including using these resources to ensure that having a next child is not considered a risk to the welfare of the family.


Meanwhile, judging from the new government’s recent program views, we can state that expert opinion in this direction has not been taken into account. Particularly, the government’s program seeks to increase child birth benefits only as a means of stimulating birth.


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