Political adviser calls for improvements to child rearing
Faced with an aging population, political advisers are urging the ongoing Two Sessions to focus on creating a more birth-friendly society.
Wu Ruijun, president assistant of East China Normal University in Shanghai, proposed improvements to the entire system that supports childbirth, from marriage to child rearing and education.
Wu, a professor of demography, said that the aging population and low birth rate are not only numerical issues but can also have an impact on economic growth, consumption models and quality of life.
"Some provinces have implemented policies such as third-child subsidies," she said. "They are necessary, but not enough. We need more integrated measures to deal with concerns from families and parents, especially those with low income."
Wu proposed that the government delink education from hukou, or household registration, in order to benefit out-of-towners with stable work, residence and income in a city. It is believed to significantly reduce the burdens of such families because they do not need to purchase an apartment to access related educational services.
She has also put forward more birth-friendly recommendations, such as providing subsidies and income tax reductions for families with a second and third child to reduce economic burdens and extending paternity and childcare leave for fathers to relieve burdens on mothers.
Wu also suggested that the government devise policies that would allow families with multiple children to have their housing loan rates reduced when renting or purchasing affordable housing.
She is also of the opinion that businesses should support birth-friendly practices in order to create a more welcoming workplace environment.