VILNIUS, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania plans to introduce a monthly handout to all children less than 18, which would amount to 30-50 euros (33 to 55 U.S. dollars), Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Thursday.
"Our government will achieve this and 'childrens' money' will be introduced as of January 1st, 2018, however, the size of the benefits must be real and reflect the state's capabilities," Skvernelis said in an interview with local broadcaster Ziniu radijas.
"We can speak about 30-50 euros monthly to every child, if the benefits are given to all children, regardless their social status," he added.
Skvernelis also said that additional payments for the third and subsequent children in families are to be introduced.
According to the prime minister, in order to stimulate the birth rate in Lithuania, the government is considering measures aimed at helping mothers to return to the labor market, as well as developing child care infrastructure and addressing the problem of availability of kindergartens and schools in major cities.
"In terms of real estate developers, we need to see what is the demand (for child care) when new apartment buildings blocks are being built," Skvernelis said.
Viktoras Pranckietis, speaker of Lithuanian parliament (Seimas), said earlier this week that introduction of child benefits would help solve the issue of low birth rate and improve the financial situation of families.
The speaker of the Seimas justified the proposal by providing Poland as an example.
According to Pranckietis, when a new child benefit program was introduced in Poland, the number of births increased by 18 percent and people started to wed earlier, at the age of 22-24 without waiting to be in their 30s. Enditem