One-child subsidy must be hiked
Updated: 2014-08-18 08:38
The subsidy of 5 yuan ($0.81) a month for single-child families has not changed in 32 years despite the manyfold rise in prices. Government departments have not bothered to pay attention to most of the aspects of the family planning policy, which reflects their indifference to people's well-being, says an article on youth.cn. Excerpts:
The 5-yuan subsidy was introduced by the government in 1982 to encourage people to follow the family planning policy, under which most couples were allowed to have only one child, to check the population growth. When the subsidy was introduced, the average income of many families in the country was only about 100 yuan a month, but today it's not possible to even have one meal for 5 yuan, which makes the subsidy meaningless for most families.
In contrast to its indifference to raising the subsidy, the government has been particularly active in increasing the penalty for violating the family planning policy. Fees for the one-child certificate and the fine for having a second child are now based on per capita income.
Also, there has been little change in other policies that require the government to pay subsidies or compensation. For instance, there is no backup mechanism for families which lose their only child. In June 2012, more than 2,000 parents who had lost their only child submitted applications seeking compensation from the Family Planning Commission. After nearly two years' wait, they were told by the commission that no compensation could be paid because their claim had no legal basis.
The subsidy for one-child couples should be raised according to the existing income levels and the consumer price index, just like the penalty imposed on people for violating the family planning policy.
The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.
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