(Yicai Global) March 8 -- China's national lawmakers and political advisors have suggested novel ways to encourage families living in the quickly aging society to have more children.
The policies that many National People's Congress deputies and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference proposed during their meetings in Beijing involve marriage, childbirth, parenting, and education.
China's birth rate dropped to the lowest in six decades in 2021. Some 10.6 million babies were born that year while the mainland's population growth was 480,000 people, the lowest since 1962, according to the statistics bureau. The country has entered the state of "deep aging" as 14.2 percent of citizens were aged 65 or above.
Parents of each child aged below six should be given an allowance with reference to the local minimum wage, NPC deputy Huang Xihua suggested. Moreover, pregnant women's career prospects should be increasingly protected, she added. The government should cover the cost of women's extended maternity leave. Finally, gender discrimination in the job market should be eliminated.
China needs to improve its ways of supporting the country's three-child policy, according to the government's 2022 work report. Some measures are already formulated. Parents who have kids below three years of age will be able to have their child-rearing expenses included in the deductibles for personal income tax. Moreover, the country intends to develop more inclusive childcare services to reduce families' burdens.
The proposals highlighted incentives. Economic methods should be used, targeting young people and their employers, to make young adults more willing to have children, said Liu Qingfeng, NPC deputy and CEO of speech recognition software developer iFlyTek.
The scope of attention included fertility treatments. China should promote research into emerging assisted reproductive technologies and include safe inventions in its healthcare system, said Zhou Songbo, deputy to the National People’s Congress and President of Fanyang hospital in Zhuozhou, Hebei Province.
Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi