China will abolish decades-old fines for couples with more that one child as it looks to raise birth rate

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China will abolish decades-old fines for couples with more that one child as it looks to raise birth rate
Children take part in outdoor activity with the guidance of teacher at Beijing Primary School in Beijing, capital of China, July 19, 2021. Peng Ziyang/Xinhua via Getty Images
  • The government said it will end fines - implemented since the 80s - on couples who have more children than allowed.
  • The government said it's no longer necessary since the three-child policy "represents a fundamental change."
  • It's also looking at lowering the costs of raising children through tax rebates, and opening more preschools.

China will abolish fines - implemented since the 80s - on couples who have more children than allowed, according to a document released by the Communist Party of China central committee and the State Council on Tuesday.

The number of children a person has will also no longer be a factor in household registration, employment, and school enrollment, it added.

In May, China announced its new three-child policy, which "represents a fundamental change from previous goals of birth policies, such as curbing the excessively rapid population growth," Yang Wenzhuang, an official with the National Health Commission, told Xinhua news agency.

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The document also detailed how the government will lower the costs of having children through tax rebates, providing more preschools, and regulating the highly competitive tuition industry.

The government is looking into implementing tax rebates for couples with children under three years old and giving parents with children preferential treatment for public housing, the statement said.

It will also ramp up its pool of early childhood professionals to ensure there are enough nurseries and childcare to support parents. On top of that, policies for more flexible working hours and parental leave will be more strictly enforced.

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Taking aim at the competitive education landscape, the statement said it would "strictly regulate off-campus training," which includes private tuition and extracurricular classes, and supervise the costs and frequency of these classes.

Just last month, China established an Off-Campus Education and Training Department to oversee companies and organizations that provide extracurricular classes to students from kindergarten through to high school, reported the South China Morning Post.

It also pledged to raise the quality of schools across the country to curb "school choice fever," where parents pay high prices to purchase properties near elite schools to give their children a better head start.

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Without giving a specific timeline for when the measures will be implemented, the statement said they would be "basically" established by 2025, and fully rolled out by 2035.

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