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System Letting Poor Down
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It is unfair that some migrant workers' wage level cannot even compete with the urban minimum living subsidy standard, says a signed article in Guangzhou Daily. An excerpt follows:

To provide the minimum living subsidy to poor people is an issue that not only concerns fairness but also a measure of what kind of society we are. But now it has emerged that fraudulent applications and claims are being made while some sit idle on unearned subsidies. These are problems plaguing the minimum living subsidy system. When the financial support is limited, such behavior directly affects the rights of other honest citizens who are in real need of such subsidy.

This plundering needs to stop.

There are possibly two reasons for the irregularities in the system. One is the government cannot get to the bottom of the real financial situation of the false applicants. The other is that some officials and applicants collude in fraud.

What is urgently needed is an enhanced unified electronic information system in the country. Once this is implemented, the amount of cheating, stealing and fraudulent behavior will be significantly reduced.

Corrupt officials need to be brought into line, by improving the institutional systems.

Of course there is a long way to go to perfect the minimum living subsidy system. For example the living subsidy standard should be gradually improved to cope with price rises. Except for those who cannot physically work, other people should earn their living by getting a new job instead of sitting idle.

But sadly, the wage level of many farmer-turned migrant worker cannot even compete with the minimum living subsidy standard. This is most unfair part of this system.

A harmonious society should break institutional barriers and provide fair treatment to all.

(China Daily June 29, 2007)

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