Families to get cash help
THE French government has announced a number of new measures which it hopes will encourage working women to have more babies.
Prime Minister Dominic de Villepin said at a conference hosted by the Union Nationale des Associations Familiales (UNAF) more will be done to help growing families.
"The family has changed," he said. “But it remains at the very heart of French society. It is a source of joy, of comfort, and a haven for its members.
“That is why we are announcing measures to help families in their everyday lives."
France already enjoys one of the highest birth rates in Europe, but fears that an aging population won’t be able to be paid for in the future has seen great emphasis placed on increasing family size.
Mothers will be entitled to a parental leave allowance of €750 (£509) a month for one year, though mothers can opt to claim the old benefit of €512 (£347) a month for three years instead.
The government’s new measures will see more money given to mothers who take time off work to have a third child.
Members of UNAF had said earlier that professional women were not having children as it was too expensive to pay for childcare, it is hoped these measures will ease the burden.
France is playing a delicate balancing act. On one hand it is keen to cut public expenditure yet will have to find the money immediately to begin paying for these plans.
Predicting the benefits of this plans is sure to be difficult as it will be a long time before it is clear if there are enough young workers paying taxes to support the social system.
What do you think about this measure, are the French just blowing money on a crazy idea or is this a plan for the future? Leave a comment below...