Debate on ministries’ budgets

Policies In Brief: More govt measures to help the stork

More govt measures to help the stork

To help parents and those who want to have children, the Government will provide greater flexibility in grant and loan processes for those who want to own a home.

This is among a number of policy measures outlined by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Josephine Teo yesterday.

•Other measures include: extending MediShield Life to cover serious pregnancy and delivery-related complications•; introducing a tripartite standard to encourage employers to provide caregiving leave to those who need it unexpectedly; and •extending and enhancing the Work-Life Grant to encourage businesses to adopt flexible work arrangements•.

Couples who face difficulties conceiving will also get more financial help.

The maximum subsidy available for assisted reproduction technology treatment, which includes in-vitro fertilisation, will be raised from $6,300 to $7,700 for fresh cycles and from $1,200 to $2,200 for frozen cycles from April 1 this year for eligible couples.

Birth registrations through an app

Parents registering the birth of their child will soon be able to do so without filling up a paper form.

From June this year, this can be done on a new Moments of Life (MOL) app.

When a birth is registered on the app, it can also initiate an application for the Baby Bonus scheme under the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

The new Moments of Life app will first be rolled out at three hospitals: KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital.

The app will also allow new parents to search for and put their child on the wait-list in pre-schools within a 1km radius of their home, and view their child's medical appointments and immunisation records.

Same-day cash with CPF withdrawals via PayNow

From later this month, the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board will start allowing CPF withdrawals for those above 55 years old to be done via PayNow, the instant fund-transfer service.

This means they will receive the funds on the same day, compared with five working days previously.

Edusave Award winners from the Institute of Technical Education and polytechnics can also receive their award money via PayNow from this month.

PayNow lets individuals transfer money by entering the recipient's mobile phone number or identity card number in any bank's app.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2018, with the headline 'Policies In Brief'. Print Edition | Subscribe