China News Service, Beijing, March 9 (Peng Ningling) "Improve the supporting measures for the three-child birth policy, include the care expenses of infants and young children under the age of 3 into the special additional deduction of personal income tax, develop inclusive childcare services, and reduce the burden of family care."

  For the fertility topic that is highly concerned by the public, the 2022 government work report has made the above work arrangements.

  Before the government work report was disclosed, the suggestions of several deputies on fertility had aroused heated discussions.

What signal does the special tax deduction send?

The picture shows the medical staff of Qinghai Provincial People's Hospital taking care of the baby.

(Data map) Photo by Sun Ying

Infants and young children under the age of 3 are included in the special tax deduction

Expert: One of the most direct and actionable measures at present

  "Incorporating the economic costs involved in childbirth into the special personal tax deduction for all employees is currently the most direct and feasible, and one of the more effective measures to reduce the cost of parenting. It undoubtedly conveys that the government is trying to find ways to give birth to children. It is a positive signal that the population of childbearing age will reduce the cost of fertility and parenting." Lu Jiehua, a professor at the Department of Sociology at Peking University and vice president of the China Population Society, said in an interview with Chinanews.com.

  He also proposed that there should be measures for different children.

"The tax calculation for the first child, the second child, and the third child should be different. For those who have more children, the reduction and exemption should be increased, so as to truly reflect the release of fertility with goodwill."

  Special additional deductions for individual income tax refer to the six special additional deductions for children’s education, continuing education, medical treatment for serious illnesses, housing loan interest or housing rent, and supporting the elderly as stipulated in the Individual Income Tax Law.

  Zheng Jianjiang, a representative of the National People's Congress, also said recently that a very important measure to make more families willing and dare to give birth is to encourage childbirth through taxation.

  He said that the "wage and salary" tax item has always paid a relatively high proportion of personal income tax, and belongs to the main class of the social demographic structure. Policy support to encourage this group to have more children and more children will play a major role in promoting the implementation of the two-child and three-child policies."

  However, Lu Jiehua also pointed out that for ordinary people, is this kind of cost (infant care costs) the most important part of the cost of childbirth?

Probably not.

"The development of inclusive child care services mentioned in the government work report may be more direct and effective, but it depends on how to implement it in the next step."

Data map: Children from the Gansu Provincial Women's Federation Nursing Home watch the popular science tour of outstanding photography works of wild animals in Lanzhou City.

(Data map) Photo by Xu Xue

The third child goes to kindergarten for free, and men are forced to take paternity leave...

Several representatives and members made suggestions

  The results of the seventh national census to be carried out in 2020 show that the growth rate of China's total population has slowed down and the total fertility rate has declined.

According to the latest statistics, China's population will increase by only 480,000 people in 2021.

The number of births in the country has hit a new low, which has aroused great concern in the society.

  After reviewing the suggestions of the deputies during the two sessions, it was found that there were several trends that were generally recognized.

  In addition to the special additional deduction for individual tax to cover families with children aged 0-3, Liu Qingfeng, a representative of the National People's Congress, also suggested that the industrial park should increase childcare facilities and support qualified employers to set up childcare institutions.

Use artificial intelligence technology to help parents carry out home education.

"Implementing the policy of encouraging birth should reduce the burden on young people and employers."

  Zhang Junting, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, suggested that various localities should introduce relevant policies according to local conditions to reduce the cost of childbirth,

advocate free kindergarten for the third child, and encourage some large enterprises and units to provide free childcare services

.

  In terms of balancing women's reproductive rights and work rights, many representatives put forward suggestions on male paternity leave.

  Currently, there is a huge difference in the number of days of maternity leave for women and paternity leave for men.

The range of maternity leave across the country is about 128 days to 190 days, while the paternity leave for men is 7 days to 30 days.

  Jiang Shengnan, a representative of the National People's Congress and a researcher at Wenzhou University, believes that the further increase in the difference in the number of days between women's maternity leave and men's paternity leave may aggravate the employment discrimination faced by women due to childbirth. Women's fertility wishes.

To give men more time to care for mothers and newborns,

it is recommended to increase the paid paternity leave for men to 30 to 42 days.

  Lu Xin, a deputy to the National People's Congress and a professor at Jinan University, said that encouraging childbirth, simply extending women's maternity leave, would have little effect.

It is recommended to appropriately extend male paternity and parental leave and implement flexible leave.

Male paternity and parental leave can not be taken all at once, but to establish a flexible leave system with divided and shared leave

.

  Xie Wenmin, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also suggested that women who accompany men to give birth should be forced to take a month's maternity leave, so that their male compatriots will share the responsibility of raising children.

Data map: The baby's little feet are printed on the "ID card".

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhai Yujia

promote fertility

"Cure the root cause" requires creating a fertility-friendly cultural concept and policy environment

  How effective are multiple fertility recommendations in improving fertility?

  "Whether it is tax reduction, growth allowance or compulsory paternity leave for men, they are the most direct measures to promote fertility at present. "Lu Jiehua said.

  In the opinion of experts, various fertility measures, including short-term tax cuts and childcare allowances, may have a certain promotion effect in the short term, but they are relatively "symptomatic".

In the longer term, "fixing the root cause" requires creating a fertility-friendly cultural concept.

  "The study found that compared with the post-80s, the post-90s' willingness to have children continues to decrease, and the post-00s may be even lower." Lu Jiehua said that with the transformation of modernization and social economy, late marriage and late childbearing may become a cultural symbol , coupled with the delayed and superimposed effect of marriage and childbearing age, may actually offset the impact of the above measures.

  "Without willingness, no matter how to create an economic environment, it may be difficult to be effective." Lu Jiehua said that in the future, we should "fix both the symptoms and the symptoms". While improving short-term policies, we must make everyone change from the past concept: children are not a burden, but a wealth.

  He also emphasized that one child is the foundation of the fertility pyramid, and when a policy environment is created that is friendly to one child and two children, three children will no longer be our concern.

"Because if the vast majority of people of childbearing age can have one child and two children, there will definitely be a rebound in fertility." (End)

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