Lithuania to introduce monthly handouts to children: PM

2017-05-18 22:16:00 GMT2017-05-19 06:16:00(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

VILNIUS, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania plans to introduce amonthly handout to all children less than 18, which would amount to30-50 euros (33 to 55 U.S. dollars), Lithuania's Prime MinisterSaulius Skvernelis said on Thursday.

"Our government will achieve this and 'childrens' money' will beintroduced as of January 1st, 2018, however, the size of thebenefits must be real and reflect the state's capabilities,"Skvernelis said in an interview with local broadcaster Ziniuradijas.

"We can speak about 30-50 euros monthly to every child, if thebenefits are given to all children, regardless their socialstatus," he added.

Skvernelis also said that additional payments for the third andsubsequent children in families are to be introduced.

According to the prime minister, in order to stimulate the birthrate in Lithuania, the government is considering measures aimed athelping mothers to return to the labor market, as well asdeveloping child care infrastructure and addressing the problem ofavailability of kindergartens and schools in major cities.

"In terms of real estate developers, we need to see what is thedemand (for child care) when new apartment buildings blocks arebeing built," Skvernelis said.

Viktoras Pranckietis, speaker of Lithuanian parliament (Seimas),said earlier this week that introduction of child benefits wouldhelp solve the issue of low birth rate and improve the financialsituation of families.

The speaker of the Seimas justified the proposal by providingPoland as an example.

According to Pranckietis, when a new child benefit program wasintroduced in Poland, the number of births increased by 18 percentand people started to wed earlier, at the age of 22-24 withoutwaiting to be in their 30s. Enditem