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Madeira Could be Compromised

As part of their political campaign, political party, ‘O We, Citizens’ has drawn attention to the fact that “There are fewer and fewer Portuguese and the demographic numbers don’t fool anyone. How can there be economic growth without this indispensable element of the equation? And how will the sustainability of Social Security be guaranteed?” Asked Miguel Costa. .

In recent years birth rates have fallen to the lowest levels since records began. Portugal registered only 85,764 births in 2023, 2,328 more than the previous year, but these are much lower numbers than those recorded in the early1980s which saw 158,352 live births, or at the turn of the century and millennium (2000), with 120,008 live births.”

With regards to the region, in the first 9 months of 2023, a total of 1,277 children were born, which represents a dramatic decrease in the number of live births. In 2021, there were only 1,758 live births of children with mothers residing in the region, a mere 14 more children than in 2021. The average age of mothers at the birth of their first child is now 30.5 years, a trend that is becoming more and more prevalent.

In short, in the last 13 years, Portugal and the Autonomous Region of Madeira have registered an “excessively low” number of births, and “the competent political authorities have not sought to mitigate it.” Miguel Costa added scathingly.

Thus, in the face of this “alarming reality”, the party proposes a National Programme to Support Births and Families that implement concrete and effective measures to combat this “demographic winter.”

“For WE, Citizens! The State must create the objective conditions, namely through taxation, so that families can have the conditions to have more children,” especially those aimed at reforming and innovating the reconciliation between family life and work/professional life, which provide more security, stability and the ability to access the labour market for couples with children, measures that provide gender equality, that provide/make available more support in goods or social equipment to children in the first years of life, that provide free prenatal care both in the NHS and in the private sector, that make the free crèches/kindergartens up to the age of 5 and textbooks up to the 12th year of schooling effective.

“It’s time to act because tomorrow may be too late.”

Samantha Gannon

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