China's capital offers $6 monthly handout to offset inflation. The public says it's not nearly enough

Feb 20, 2023 | 🚀 Fathership AI

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform confirmed that more than 300,000 people on low incomes will receive the cash payment of 40 yuan per month. The first payment will be made later this month, but it is unclear how long the subsidies will continue. The move came as food inflation rose 6.6% in Beijing in January due to China's easing of monetary policy and scrapping of their zero-Covid strategy.

China first launched its low-income subsidy program in 2011, which provides cash handouts to the needy when the consumer price index or food prices reach certain thresholds. However, many people are not satisfied with the amount of the subsidy, with one Weibo user stating that it is not enough to even pay for a bowl of noodles. With public dissatisfaction rising, some have criticized the country’s social welfare system, while others have slammed the government’s recent decision to write off billions of debt to other countries.

The protests by retirees in Wuhan and Dalian last week underscored the financial pressure on local governments, after three years of zero-Covid policy had already strained their coffers and a property market slump eroded their income. Meanwhile, China's consumer inflation has continued to rise, with food prices soaring 6.2% in January, and vegetable prices in Beijing increasing by 24% last month.

Source: CNN

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