Sounds too good to be true?
We've all heard of the one-child policy in China that was relaxed in 2013. The reverse is now happening in Italy, where parents are being encouraged by the government to have more children. In fact, incentives are being given if you have your third child under a controversial new land for child scheme!
A plan devised by the far-right League aims to reward parents who have a third child between 2019 and 2021 by awarding a piece of land. The ambitious policy hopes to achieve two goals at the same time - to improve the country's decreasing birth rate and to relieve the burden of managing the state-owned land from the government.
In 2017, only 464,000 births were registered. This is the lowest birthrate recorded in Europe and has left Italy with a significantly older demographic.
Agriculture Minister Gian Marco Centinaio has commented that something must be done to buck this trend.
"They say that Italians have few children and that something is needed to turn the trend around".
He also added, "that's why the ministry wants to contribute, favouring rural areas in particular, where people still have children".
As reported by Corriere della Sera, the land reserved under this scheme is "for the most part, what is left at the bottom of the barrel". Furthermore, the newspaper said that local councils were contributing large sums of money for maintenance.
Parents awarded agricultural land under this scheme have ownership for 20 years.
Coldiretti, the association of Italian agricultural companies, claims that the state owns 1.2 million acres of farmland which is worth 10 billion Euros (Php 600 billion).
The land-for-children idea has received strong support from Italy's families minister, Lorenzo Fontana.
Fontana added that the scheme is applicable only to married couples - people in civil partnerships will not be beneficiaries under this initiative. However, there has been some backlash towards this ruling as civil unions receive the same rights as married couples.
Also, foreigners who would like to participate in the land-for-child scheme need to have lived in Italy for at least 10 years.
Do you think that this land for child scheme will make the difference?
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