Italy set to double baby bonus to fight birth rate ‘apocalypse’

Italy’s health minister is proposing doubling a ‘baby bonus’ incentive for couples to have more children to combat what she calls a catastrophic decline in the country’s birth rate.

“If we carry on as we are and fail to reverse the trend, there will be fewer than 350,000 births a year in 10 years’ time, 40 percent less than in 2010 — an apocalypse,” the minister, Beatrice Lorenzin, said in an interview published on Sunday by daily La Repubblica.

Lorenzin told the paper she wanted to double the standard baby bonus, currently €80 ($90) a month for low-to-middle income families, and introduce higher payments for second and subsequent children to encourage bigger families.

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