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Ameixial to offer local mums €2,500 per baby

In a plan similar to the one created by Alcoutim in 2014 (click here), the small town of Ameixial in Loulé is offering €2,500 to new mother’s for every baby born in the parish.

The goal is to attract new life to an area where 80% of the population is over 45, explains parish president Abílio Sousa.

“Children aren’t often born in Ameixial, and we would like to reopen our primary school on a medium-term basis,” he told Lusa news agency.

The first €1,000 will be awarded when the baby is born, another €1,000 when he or she turns one, and the final €500 when the tot celebrates its second birthday.

Sousa is aware families need more than financial incentives to call the mountainside town home, and there have been attempts to create more jobs – most recently through the opening of an old people’s home.

He said that 80% of the people who work at the home are under 35, and some haven’t yet started families.

“It’s a way of trying to keep these people here,” he explained.

The local strategist says there are also ideas in the pipeline to attract businesses, particularly related to rural tourism.

But he guarantees Ameixal has enough money for its first initiative – saying he “only wishes” he had to find money for new mums, as then it would mean a lot of children were being born in the town.

For now, Sousa said he thinks money will be going to “three or four” first-time families in the first half of 2016.