The President of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has set out a “Strategy for the Promotion of Birth and Work-Life Balance” for 2022-2026, which she has described as Europe’s most ambitious plan for bolstering the birth rate, adding that family is the basis for prosperity and freedom. Its objective is to reach the mark of 75,000 births per year in Madrid, a rate that was last achieved in 2011, and one that ensures a replacement birth-rate.
Madrid started the year with a €14,500 subsidy for women under 30 with an income under 30,000. The strategy will draw on €4,800 million to be spent over five years on eighty measures divided along three axes, namely: the increase of birth-rates; the protection of maternity and paternity; and the balancing of work, family, and personal life.
Among other measures, Madrid will provide new aid and tax benefits to families, establish career compatibility with childcare, and help to increase accessible housing. Fiscal benefits will include a deduction of up to €2,100 from the income tax for birth or adoption, a deduction of up to 100% of the regional quota on this tax for large families, and of 50% for standard-sized families. In addition, help accessing clinical fertility treatments will be provided for women up to 45 years of age. Concerning work-life balance, measures include €2,500 per child, per worker for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) promoting flexible work days.
“We do not want a dehumanized country in which our lives are devoted to the merely material,” added Ayuso, highlighting that, however high Madrid’s healthcare ranks internationally, it is simply not suitable without strong families and pro-natalist measures: “Spain and Europe suffer from a real demographic problem which, if unchecked, will cause other serious problems in the middle and long-term.”