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Ease couples' financial burden to help boost fertility rate

China Daily | Updated: 2021-10-13 07:14


The Chaoyang district local government in Beijing recently announced that families which have two or three children and are on the waiting list for public rental housing will be allowed to skip the line and choose locations soon.

The move is aimed at encouraging couples to have three children following the further easing of the family planning policy recently.

Some other local governments, too, are framing housing policies favoring families with more than one child.

The introduction of the three-child policy shows the importance the government attaches to raising the fertility rate.

However, fertility rates cannot be raised overnight, as the global experience shows. So more needs to be done to raise the fertility rate and offset the impacts of the rapidly rising aging population.

The government could consider extending maternity and paternity leaves, and offering direct financial assistance to families with more children.

In some regions, villagers have been making voluntarily donations to a fund set up to aid those who have newborns.

While it is believed that financial subsidies will encourage couples to have more children, families have their own considerations.

Since couples with more than one child usually face a lot more problems, especially financial problems, than those with one child or no child at all, the authorities should introduce preferential policies to reduce their burden and encourage other couples to have more children.

Thanks to the strict family planning policy that was followed for decades, people's idea about having children has undergone a fundamental change, as many couples believe it's better to have just one child and no longer regard having two or more children as a sign of social success.

It is important for China to maintain a certain population size to maintain the country's economic vitality.

So the authorities should set a population goal before making any long-term guiding policies toward this end. Policies should be adopted to make families with multiple children feel valued in society.

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