The decision by China to allow families to have three children was met with skepticism on Tuesday. Doubts have been expressed on social media whether it is going to make much difference and has called for details on what promised will include supportive measures.
This Monday, Beijing has announced that it is lifting the two-child limit to encourage more child-bearing, weeks after the census data has confirmed rapid aging and a decline in the fertility that has put China on track to see its population, the largest in the world, begin shrinking.
The major policy shift will include supportive measures that are conducive to improve the population structure of the country and this has been said according to their official news agency.
Social media participants have cited the very high cost of raising children in urban China where the housing can be expensive and children also undergo private tuition in addition to public schools amid a fiercely competitive education system as the main deterrents to have kids.
The woman in China has already faced a widening gender gap in terms of workforce participation and also earnings. They have borne a growing share of childcare duties as there is a decline in state-supported childcare. This is according to reports that came last year from the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
A Weibo user has said that the working woman in the big cities is going to be further discriminated against and it is going to be harder for a woman over 30s to find jobs.
According to media reports from the Politburo meeting held on Monday where it is chaired by President Xi Jinping who has said that in conjunction with the new policy of China is going to lower education costs and also step up tax and housing support and also guarantee the legal interest of the working women. But the meeting did not give any specifics.
James Liang, a professor from the School of Economics from the Peking University and also the founder of the online travel giant Trip.com Group, last month have urged China to give parents of all newborn 1 million yuan to lift the rate of fertility which is just 1.3 children per woman in 2020. This rate is in line with countries such as Italy and Japan and far short of the 2.1 replacement rate.
He further added this week that China is going to need to spend 1% to 4% of GDP on such kind of support compared to practically 0% now in tax breaks, cash, housing subsidies, daycare, and also other incentives to get their fertility rate up to about 1.6 and expects that the government soon step up building kindergartens and daycare centers.
Most of the developing countries typically spend 1% to 4% of GDP on such supports. He further went on to add that he would love to see housing subsidies in all the large cities of China.