Sunday, February 5, 2012
one-child per family trend paves the way to «hell»
It would be far from enough just to increase maternity benefits in order to improve the demographic situation in Latvia. What is needed is tax incentives, free meals in all schools, free education, transport facilities and other factors. Only then a child will no longer be considered a luxury that is affordable only to the richest, demographer Ilmars Mezs said in an interview to LNT broadcast 900 sekundes.
He agrees that the current unemployment rate is too high and must be slashed. However, if the jobless rate totals 11 – 12% as in Latvia, we also need to focus on the remaining 90%. There will always be people who are unwilling or unable to enter the labor market.
Mezs criticizes the President Andris Berzins’ remark that Estonia’s example of the demographic indicators is only temporary.
“May God give Latvia such a temporary ten-year boom in birth rates as in Estonia,” he says. He notes that in Estonia there is a three-fold increase in the number of mothers with a higher education degree, adding that the country is not building highly expensive bridges to so that as expensive “jeeps” can travel faster.
The demographer stresses that it would be enough with 5% of the Southern Bridge costs to achieve a significant improvement in the demographic situation.
“The state needs to be aware of its goals. Is it to keep existing or die out? We should think three generations ahead,” he says.
Mezs points out that the “standard” two children per family model would be sufficient to give the grim demographic situation a boost.
“However, here in Latvia we have mostly one-child families. It paves the way to “hell”. Fifty years later there will be massive immigration, as no good place remains empty for a long time. All sectors will see a shortage of people,” he says.
just call it heavens