More social assistance investment needed

Updated: 2012-10-24 20:45


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BEIJING - More government spending on social assistance is urgently needed, according to an official report tabled on Wednesday at an ongoing legislature session in Beijing.

Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo made the remark while presenting a government social assistance report that will be deliberated by lawmakers at the session.

Greater fiscal support for social assistance is urgently needed to ensure that people in tough circumstances can share the fruits of economic and social development, he said, adding that China's social safety net is not large enough to keep up with demand.

"In a considerable number of areas, local governments have failed to provide living subsidies for needy groups in rural areas according to standards," he said.

Needy people refers to handicapped people, the elderly and minors who are not able to work, and have no legal guardians or income.

Qualification procedures for potential social assistance recipients must be improved in order to safeguard social equality and justice, according to Li.

He said the government will hasten its efforts to identify low-income households.

The report said coordination among multiple policy systems should be improved in order to guarantee basic living rights and conditions for people living in poverty.

An inter-departmental communication mechanism will be set up to increase policy consistency and ensure access to basic welfare systems, such as those related to health care, education, housing and employment, Li said.

China will accelerate the establishment of a multi-level information-sharing system for verifying the financial backgrounds of social aid applicants, he said.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, or China's legislature, began a four-day bimonthly session on Tuesday to deliberate draft laws and review government reports.