Caixin
Jul 21, 2021 03:29 AM
CHINA

China Rolls Out Financial Measures to Counter Baby Bust

What’s new: China’s State Council issued a basket of supportive measures Tuesday to encourage people to have more children after the newly announced three-child policy received a cold response from young couples worried about the costs of child care, education and housing.

Among the measures, China will amend individual income tax law to permit deductions for child care expenses for children younger than 3 years old, according to a policy document released by state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Local governments should take “due care” of parents of minors applying to rent public apartments and formulate favorable home rental and purchase policies to help families with more children, the document showed.

The central government will also use part of its budget to promote the development of accessible, affordable, high-quality child care facilities. State-owned enterprises and housekeeping companies are also encouraged to take an active part in the effort.

The background: A once-in-a-decade census showed in May that China’s population during the last decade grew at the slowest rate since the 1950s, reaching 1.41 billion. China had 1.2 million newborns in 2020, indicating a fertility rate of 1.3 children for women of childbearing age, far lower than the expected rate of 1.8.

After the census results, Beijing said May 31 that it would permit married couples to have as many as three children, up from two, a significant change to the country’s family planning policy.

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Cover Story: The Challenge of Keeping China From Shrinking

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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