Criticism over lack of pro-natal incentives

No pro-natal incentives are offered to counteract the demographical landslide and the reduction of births, claims the president of the national Confederation of Parents’ Associations (Confap).

“Having children presents no advantage in Portugal,” Jorge Ascensão told Lusa news agency. “The lower number of students enrolling in our schools is a consequence of social and economic policies that Europe and Portugal have been implementing.”

In just one year, 13,000 fewer children were enrolled in Portuguese pre-primary and primary schools, according to recent official data referring to the 2011/2012 academic year, which shows a fast-shrinking education system in Portugal.

Ascensão believes the situation will worsen in the next five years as there are no economic incentives to encourage families to have children in Portugal.

“There are 30-year-olds still living with their parents,” he said, adding that these situations will only change when social policies change.

The Confap president also believes that values among younger people have changed as they now give more importance to “good cars, good homes and high wages” than to starting a family.

“Family-focused policies must be implemented,” he said.