Our column in this issue continues to focus on the chapter “Growing Better at Ensuring and Improving People’s Wellbeing and Strengthening and Developing New Approaches to Social Governance” of the report delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee at the 19th CPC National Congress.
Improving the Quality of Employment and Raising Incomes
Employment is pivotal to people’s wellbeing. We must give high priority to employment and pursue a proactive employment policy, striving to achieve fuller employment and create better quality jobs. We will launch vocational skills training programs on a big scale, give particular attention to tackling structural unemployment, and create more jobs by encouraging business startups. We will provide extensive public employment services to open more channels for college graduates and other young people as well as migrant rural workers to find jobs and start their own businesses. We must remove institutional barriers that block the social mobility of labor and talent and ensure that every one of our people has the chance to pursue career through hard work. We will improve mechanisms for joint discussion and mediation involving government, trade unions, and employers in an effort to ensure harmonious labor relations.
We will continue to follow the principle of distribution according to one’s work while improving our institutions and mechanisms for distribution based on factors of production, so as to make income distribution fairer and more orderly. We will encourage people to make their money through hard work and legal means. We will expand the size of the middle-income group, increase income for people on low incomes, adjust excessive incomes, and prohibit illicit income. We will work to see that individual incomes grow in step with economic development, and pay rises in tandem with increases in labor productivity. We will expand the channels for people to make work-based earnings and property income. We will see that government plays its function of adjusting redistribution, move faster to ensure equitable access to basic public services and narrow the gaps in incomes.
Strengthening the Social Security System
We will act on the policy requirements to help those most in need, to build a tightly woven safety net, and to build the necessary institutions, as we work to develop a sustainable multi-tiered social security system that covers the entire population in both urban and rural areas, with clearly defined rights and responsibilities, and support that hits the right level. We will work to see that everyone has access to social security. We will improve the basic pension schemes for urban employees and for rural and non-working urban residents, and quickly bring pension schemes under national unified management.
We will improve the unified systems of basic medical insurance and serious disease insurance for rural and non-working urban residents, and improve unemployment insurance and work-related injury insurance. We will establish a unified national platform for social security public services. We will promote the coordinated development of the social assistance systems for urban and rural residents, and improve the subsistence allowances system.
We must adhere to the fundamental national policy of gender equality, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of women and minors. We will improve our systems for social assistance, social welfare, charity, and entitled groups’ benefits and services. We will improve the system for supporting and caring for children, women, and elderly people left behind in rural areas. We will develop programs for people with disabilities and work to provide better rehabilitation services for them.
We must not forget that housing is for living in, not for speculation. With this in mind, we will move faster to put in place a housing system that ensures supply through multiple sources, provides housing support through multiple channels, and encourages both housing purchase and renting. This will make us better placed to meet the housing needs of all of our people.