- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Polish lawmakers have passed a new child benefit scheme under which the government will make monthly payments of 500 zlotys ($125) for all second and subsequent children in a family.

The passage of the law Thursday in the lower house of parliament fulfils one of the key campaign promises of the populist, conservative Law and Justice party, which swept to power last fall. The aim of the child benefits is to support families and encourage more births in a country with one of the world’s lowest birthrates.

The government says the new law will greatly help struggling families. Political opponents say it discriminates against all the first children who will not receive it; it won’t succeed in raising the birthrate; and paying for it will hurt state finances.

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