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Reinforce and Improve the Social Assistance System (Special Issue, No.31, 2018)


By Wang Liejun, Research Department of Social Development, DRC

Research Report, Special Issue, No.31, 2018 (Total 1598) 2018-8-31

Abstract: Social assistance serves as the bottom line in the social policy system, the safety net for social equity, which makes it an especially important matter for China, a country with a large size of poor population as well as high ratios of agricultural population and people engaged in informal employment. Social assistance system needs to be reinforced and improved in the next period from the following aspects. First, the targets of China’s security policy can be enhanced on the basis of covering all the eligible, which means while focusing on the subsistence needs, it should also take development and improvement needs into consideration. Second, targeting methods need to be improved to better identify those in real needs. Third, the internal and external policies of the social assistance program need to be more compatible, so as to better align with the policies in minimum living security focusing on special social assistance, combining social assistance with poverty-alleviation, and matching minimum living security with the labor market. Fourth, the central and local governments need to have their financing responsibilities sorted out according to different categories of regions, and hand over the responsibilities in social assistance to higher level administrations. Meanwhile, the fast exit of minimum living security and the sustainability of hyper-normal assistance measures deserve special attention in the anti-poverty effort.

Key words: social assistance, social policies, minimum living security