Aug 26 2012 start date for enhanced baby bonus to stay: Grace Fu

THE new enhanced baby bonus and medisave grants for newborns will not be extended past the start date of Aug 26 last year, said Ms Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

The Aug 26 date was chosen as the start date for the enhanced bonuses as that was when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong first spoke of them during last year's National Day Rally last year, The Government will stick to that date for administrative efficiency, even as it tries to be as inclusive as possible.

She was responding to a question from Ms Tin Pei Ling (Marine Parade GRC), who asked how the date was chosen and whether the new measures announced as part of the recent Marriage and Parenthood Package could be extended to include all babies born after Jan 1 last year.

Ms Fu said that there would always be some families disappointed and that it was not possible to back date every announcement for every family.

"If we had heeded the call of the member and applied the effective date... Those who just missed the December deadline would say it is unfair to them."

She quipped: "My message to parents who are disappointed, is perhaps they will consider having more babies, and those babies will be able to benefit from these enhancements."

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