MP says brainy women must have more babies

4th February 2005 at 00:00

A German politician who says the country needs brainier children following poor results in international tests has called for reforms to encourage more academics to have families.

Daniel Bahr, from the liberal Free Democratic Party, said Germany needed more babies, and particularly more born to women with university backgrounds.

"In Germany the wrong kind of people are having babies and a rising birth rate alone won't help. At the moment only the weak members of society are having children," said Mr Bahr.

He said that while studies by the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) found that children of parents with college and university qualifications fared better in school, on the whole Germany did poorly in comparison with other European countries.

"Something needs to be done," said Mr Bahr. "We need more women with university degrees to have children rather than women who only have high-school diplomas. Then finally we may be able to climb up the Pisa ladder."

The FDP family-policy spokesman also said that while surveys showed that 80 per cent of female undergraduates in Germany wanted children, at least 44 per cent of academics between 35 and 39 were childless. Mr Bahr has now called for tax reforms. "Germany spends a lot of money helping society's weak, but has failed in supporting academics who want to start families. A new tax class must be created so that academic women who want children can also have money in the bank. Children and a career have to be made possible," he said.

Mr Bahr has also proposed that childcare costs up to 12,000 euros (Pounds 8,300) be made tax-deductible, and pointed to France as a good example. "In France there are many more children from women with university degrees or higher," he said.

The FDP is Germany's third-largest political party.

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