One Child Policy Incentives: Support for the Family

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The one child policy was established by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979. For over 30 years, this policy has been followed in both the urban and rural areas of China. Within the first twenty years of its implementation, China’s population has decreased by 300 million from 1.3 billion. For the responsible and law abiding citizens the One Child Policy Incentives include an increase in the benefits of old aged citizens in the rural areas. According to National Population and Family Planning Commission director Li Bin, parents aged 60 and over will receive a 20 percent increase in their annual benefits from 600 Yuan to 720 Yuan. The increase in benefits has been effective since 2009, helping families maintain their rural living standard.

The idea of this policy emerged from the belief that rapid population growth can compromise the development of a country. The enormous size of China’s population posed a great challenge in implementing this policy. Aside from financial incentives, people who are encouraged to have only one child are offered other incentives such as preferential access to housing, health services, and schools. Although the implementation of the policy has improved the population growth in China, it also received negative feedback. Mothers who find out that they are pregnant with a girl often resort to abortion, or the child usually ends up in an orphanage. In most cases, these female children are ignored or abandoned, being deprived of schooling and health care.

The incentives in one child policy are paid to parents who have one child or two daughters, and are under the 2006 government program “Fewer Children For Faster Prosperity”. For couples in the rural area who are entitled to have children but voluntarily chose to stop at two children, they are given a 3,000 Yuan benefit to support their incomes. In 2007, a trial program was launched by the government in 10 provinces and municipalities where parents with one child who is handicapped or deceased will receive a monthly benefit of 80 to 100 Yuan. This trial is applicable only to mothers aged 49 or over, and did not adopt or have another child.

In 2001, the one child policy was enshrined as a law. Over the last 30 years, an estimated 400 million births was prevented. Those who do not abide by the law, and continued to have more than one child without authorization from the government are levied with fines and government employees are punished by losing their jobs. With the continued enforcement of this policy, the Chinese government claims that the peak of their population is expected to be National Population and Family Planning Commissionat 1.6 billion in the year 2050. Other incentives in one child policy include retirement funds, bonuses for employees, and a stronger social security system. The implementation of this policy gave way to the rapid growth of the economy in China, and a significant improvement in the quality of life for the citizens.

For Further Reading:
China One Child Policy: A Restriction in Urban the Area

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