Better lives for all the goal

Updated: 2013-11-12 07:27

(China Daily)

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Significant advances have been made in improving people's livelihoods, despite ever-growing pressures from the economic slowdown, according to an article in People's Daily.

Striving to improve people's livelihoods and push for China's all-round development have become clear goals of the authorities since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last year, which ushered in the new leadership.

Amid huge employment pressures, as a result of this year's record high number of university graduates, the government has introduced numerous comprehensive measures, including tailor-made preferential policies and fiscal assistance, to help them find employment or start their own businesses.

And as part of the government's efforts to increase people's incomes, policies and measures are being taken to reform its long-controversial income distribution mechanism.

In a guideline document issued in February, the government put forward an explicit policy target of doubling the incomes of urban and rural residents and gradually narrowing the income gap between the rich and poor. The enforcement of the Amendment to the Labor Contract Law on July 1, which contains the "same pay for same work" clause, and a higher minimum wage in regions across the country have been huge institutional progress in raising the incomes of low-income groups.

The inclusion of more than 1 billion people into its healthcare insurance and 800 million into its social security network also represent substantial steps in the world's largest social guarantee system. Besides efforts to build an all-inclusive medical insurance network, the country has also taken practical measures to raise the proportion of the fees reimbursed for sufferers of various serious diseases, in a bid to prevent them from being precipitated into poverty, which has been all too common in the past.

The government has also accelerated efforts to address people's housing problems, a source of mounting public discontent, as soaring housing prices have gone far beyond the purchasing capabilities of many. The construction or planned construction of a large number of government-subsidized apartments and expedited steps to renovate shabby neighborhoods in urban areas will offer low-income groups more opportunities to acquire affordable accommodation.

At the same time, the increased fiscal input into education in less-developed areas will also help China change its current serious imbalances in the distribution of educational resources and help it set up an even and just educational system.

(China Daily 11/12/2013 page8)