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China to address widening income gap

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, March 7, 2011
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One of the hot button issues for the congressmen is tackling the widening income gap between the rich and the poor.

After decades of double-digit growth, China has overtaken Japan as the the world's second largest economy.

However, that doesn't mean everyone is benefiting.

Latest figures from the World Bank suggests China's Gini coefficient, a major gauge of income disparity, has risen to more than 0.4, much higher than the world average.

Rising commodity prices are also adding to the woes of low-income groups.

Retiree, Beijing, said, "The price of pork has doubled from 20 yuan per kilogram to 40. I can't afford that. Many people now have to reduce the amount of pork in their diet."

Some scholars have a solution: levying heavier taxes on the rich, and using that money to subsidize low-income groups.

Employees at monopolistic industries such as power and telecommunications usually make more than the average person, so some believe they should shoulder more of the tax burden.

Others favor more direct means to bridge the income gap.

In fact, some steps have already been taken. For instance, the basic retirement pension for urban residents has been raised from 700 yuan per month to more than 13-hundred yuan. More measures are expected in 2011.

Shen Le, Beijing, said, "China may have overtaken Japan as the second biggest economy in the world, but the widening gap between the rich and the poor is a constant reminder that, perhaps it's too early for us to be complacent about our economic success. "


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