China is rolling out a wide variety of new “baby boost” policies, including child tax credits. Officials will also end the fines and penalties that have long been leveled against families who have too many children. (The Wall Street Journal)
NH: In the last few months, the CCP has been looking for ways to reverse the country’s falling fertility rate.
In June, the government announced that families will be allowed to have three children. And there were talks of scrapping birth restrictions altogether. (See “China Pins Its Future on a Three-Child Policy” and “Will China Drop All Birth Restrictions?”)
We have often argued that China would continue to move away from family limitations and toward pronatalism. And now, according to a document released by the CCP, the country is indeed planning a plethora of new “baby boost” policies.
These new initiatives mainly target the financial burdens of parenthood. The costs of raising a child under the age of three will be exempt from income tax. The government will increase the supply of affordable daycare providers.
Families will no longer be fined for past family-planning violations. And local governments will be strongly encouraged to give housing priority to couples with children and reward companies that initiate shared family leave policies.
No, China isn’t yet like Hungary handing out direct cash benefits. But it’s moving in that direction. And while we knew this would happen, China may be moving faster than we originally predicted.
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ABOUT NEIL HOWE
Neil Howe is a renowned authority on generations and social change in America. An acclaimed bestselling author and speaker, he is the nation's leading thinker on today's generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America's future.
A historian, economist, and demographer, Howe is also a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. He is a senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., where he helps direct the CSIS Global Aging Initiative.
Howe has written over a dozen books on generations, demographic change, and fiscal policy, many of them with William Strauss. Howe and Strauss' first book, Generations is a history of America told as a sequence of generational biographies. Vice President Al Gore called it "the most stimulating book on American history that I have ever read" and sent a copy to every member of Congress. Newt Gingrich called it "an intellectual tour de force." Of their book, The Fourth Turning, The Boston Globe wrote, "If Howe and Strauss are right, they will take their place among the great American prophets."
Howe and Strauss originally coined the term "Millennial Generation" in 1991, and wrote the pioneering book on this generation, Millennials Rising. His work has been featured frequently in the media, including USA Today, CNN, the New York Times, and CBS' 60 Minutes.
Previously, with Peter G. Peterson, Howe co-authored On Borrowed Time, a pioneering call for budgetary reform and The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.
Howe received his B.A. at U.C. Berkeley and later earned graduate degrees in economics and history from Yale University.