In Shanghai, the monthly reward for registered residents with only one child has been raised from 2.5 to 30 yuan until the child is 16. This makes it the first change for 30 years, as the city’s payment is the lowest in the nation. Other provinces already began to raise their contributions years ago.
This measure, that is meant to encourage residents to stick to the country’s one-child policy, seems to conflict a bit with the city appeals of allowing more couples to give birth to a second child. Shanghai has an increasing number of old people and an extremely low birth rate for years. In order to ease the city’s unbalanced population, officials have argued they need more children.
So far people are only allowed to have two children if both spouses are from one-child families or a couple’s first child is suffering from a non-hereditary disease.
The again, Zhang Liang, secretary-general of the Family Research Center with the Shanghai Academy of Social Science, claims that her research reveals that it is still too early to encourage people to have more than one child. She bases this on the fact that the average age of females giving birth to a second child is getting older while the first generation of only children born in the 1980s haven’t reached their child-bearing peak yet.
Not that it matters too much – it seems that many couples don’t want to have the financial burden of a second child anyways. As a study shows, parents earning an average salary already have to spend almost half of their income on their child’s education.
As the city government stated, the amended rule will be valid for five years.
By Nele Diels