Monday, November 20, 2006
Russians want more babies... end up with more abortions
Proof once again that the road to hell is paved with government programs.
Putin plan to reward mothers backfires
When Vladimir Putin announced hefty benefits for women who had a second child, his pliant parliament and the Russian media pronounced him a genius.
Far from halting one of the world's worst demographic crises, however, Mr Putin appears to have triggered a surge in abortions.
In a state of the nation address last spring, he proposed a package of incentives, including a £5,000 payout to mothers who give birth for a second time – in a country where average wages are just £150 a month.
The money, however, will only be eligible to those who give birth after January.
Vast numbers of women already pregnant decided to have an abortion because they were going to give birth before the cut-off date, maternity hospitals and regional legislators have claimed.
Also, as the details of the scheme have became clearer, a substantial number of women changed their minds. Many were unaware that the money would not be paid out until the child was three.
Now it transpires that the mothers' will not receive cash at all. Instead, certificates will be issued that can be redeemed against their child's education or paid into a pension fund or mortgage. Only about five per cent of Russians have mortgages.
Government bait and switch on TOP of the law of unintended consequences!
Whotta combo punch for the Russians!