The Chinese government may consider giving families financial incentives to possess a second child in the bid to achieve higher birth rate targets.
It marks a dramatic turnaround from more than four decades from the 二胎 when there are harsh penalties for having several, including fines and forced abortions.
Wang Peian, the vice-minister of the National Health insurance and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said the commission is considering “birth rewards and subsidies” for second children, their state-owned China Daily reported on Tuesday.
Wang made the announcement on Saturday during a meeting of the China Social Welfare Academy, a Chinese NGO that works closely with the government. A spokesperson for that organization declined commenting on Wang’s speech to CNN.
The announcement was in part prompted by way of a survey the NHFPC completed in 2015, showing that 60% of families polled were reluctant to have a second child because of financial constraints, based on China Daily.
China overturned its one-child policy in October 2015, allowing couples country wide to get two children. Birth rates have risen ever since then, although the government is attempting to meet higher birth rate targets as being the population ages.
Lu Jiehua, a sociology professor at Peking University, said that financial incentives to get a second child certainly are a “positive signal.”
But how much government entities can pay for to subsidize — within a country where the expense of living and education are skyrocketing — determines whether the potential bonuses work, he was quoted saying.
“The financial incentives would require more effort utilizing government departments to cover the fee for raising a child, which can be more important than having a baby,” Lu said.
The main one-child policy was introduced in 1979 when the government feared a fast boost in population size once the baby boom from the 1950s and 1960s.
The country’s fertility rate fell dramatically, from a peak of virtually six births per female between 1960 and 1965 to 1.5 per woman between 1995 and 2014.
Both-child policy officially began in 2016 within a government program to leap start that declining birth rate — especially because China faces a rapidly aging population plus a shortage of working-age residents.
China contains 114 million people over 65, and up to 90 million people are likely to retire in the following 30 years, leaving the labor force with even fewer people until newborns are of sufficient age to be effective.
By 2030, the us government has warned China could have probably the most aged population in the world, with over 400 million people over 60.
To date — with regards to energizing China’s birth rate — both-child policy is working, with or without subsidies.
The amount of babies born in 2016 jumped 7.9% from the previous year, in accordance with government figures.
An overall total of 17.86 million babies were born in 2016, a boost of 1.31 million over the total in 2015. The brand new total represents the highest annual quantity of newborns since 2000, dexrpky25 to government data.
Challenges still remain when it comes to strengthening the country’s newest workforce.
Lu claimed that women in China who happen to be now of child-bearing age were raised within the 房屋二胎. Having evolved under strict family planning policies, many are inclined to not have children — not to mention second pregnancies.