By Jonathon Van Maren
I’ve only been to Italy once, but it was hard not to notice: There were very few children around. A few of my friends went there on vacation more recently, and they not only observed the same thing, but were at several points swarmed by people who wanted to coo at their baby daughter. (Conversely, one of the most immediately noticeable characteristics of Ireland is how many young mothers with children you see out and about, and how many little boys and girls are playing in the streets—I pray the results of the abortion referendum in May do not transform the playgrounds into silent memorials of bygone days.)
And so I was encouraged to see that Italy is following in the footsteps of Hungary, taking real and tangible steps to encourage people to have children. From the Daily Mail:
Italy’s populist government plans to reward parents who have a third child by awarding them a piece of land, in a bid to reverse the country’s plummeting birth rate.
The plan, cooked up by the far-right League and included in the draft budget for next year, would see the state hand over parcels of agricultural land for 20 years to parents who have a third child between 2019 and 2021.
‘They say that Italians have few children and that something is needed to turn the trend around,’ said agriculture minister Gian Marco Centinaio. ‘That’s why the ministry wants to contribute, favouring rural areas in particular, where people still have children.’
Italy has the lowest birthrate in Europe. Last year, about 464,000 births were registered, a record low, leaving Italy with a significantly older population and a demographic time bomb.
The land-for-children idea is supported by Italy’s ultra-Catholic families minister Lorenzo Fontana. He added, however, that the incentives will be limited to married couples, rather than those in civil unions…
According to Coldiretti, the association of Italian agricultural companies, the state owns 1.2million acres of farmland worth nearly £9billion.
This is not a popular point of view in many conservative circles, but I am whole-heartedly supportive of these government initiatives to dis-incentivize abortion and support mothers in carrying their children to term. Currently, some of the money I earn is taken by the feticide enthusiasts in the Liberal Party of Canada and shipped overseas to fund abortions in developing countries, and so I’d be quite pleased to be told that instead, my hard-earned cash was being used as a financial incentive to stay out of the abortion clinic.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.