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Incentives on offer to boost elderly care

Time:2019-06-03     Click:Loading   【Print】  【Close
State Council urges community-based programs to aid people's well-being
China will take more steps to boost community-based elderly care, child care and household services, including greater policy incentives in taxes and fees, as decided at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
"Elderly care, child care and housekeeping services are crucial to improving people's well-being, addressing the aging of the population and boosting employment. There is huge demand in this regard. The inadequacy of child care service, in particular, has become a bottleneck issue with the implementation of the second-child policy," Li said. "Faster development of such services can serve multiple purposes, including boosting consumption, promoting a better division of labor and facilitating economic transformation."
The Wednesday meeting decided on measures to boost community-based elderly care. Efforts will be made to increase the supply of community facilities for such services, and reduce costs. Elderly care facilities installed as required in new residential communities will be used at government request to provide free or low-cost services to local residents. The government will make up for the shortage of such facilities in old residential areas through repurchasing or renting.
Thresholds will be lowered for private actors to provide community-based elderly care services. The government encourages community institutions to develop comprehensive functions including boarding services, day care and home-visit services. Integrated medical and elderly care services will be promoted. The Internet Plus model will be used in offering tailored neighborhood services for senior citizens.
"We must accelerate the development of community-based elderly care in light of China's realities to boost the services sector. The government needs to provide support in terms of fiscal input, taxation, finance, venues, electricity and water supply," Li said.
Colleges and vocational schools will be incentivized to offer programs of household services. Eligible training bases will receive funding support on a priority basis under the central government budget. Household service workers who are flexibly employed will be covered by the professional upskilling subsidies.
Community-based household services companies will not be restricted by the nature of the real estate when renting the service venues.
The government will work to improve the standards and credit system, and set up systems for service provider certification and third-party accreditation. All service workers will be required to have rigorous health checks. The government will follow an accommodative and prudential approach in regulating the household services sector.
"We must vigorously develop elderly care and child care," Li said. "Our labor productivity cannot improve without a sound division of labor. The government needs to step up in widening market access and exercising impartial regulation. This will boost the healthy growth of relevant industries and deliver satisfying services to our people."
Li also stressed the need to scale up vocational training to enhance the reputation and performance of the related industries.
The meeting identified a number of tax incentives for community-based elderly care, child care and household services. Between June 1 this year and the end of 2025, earnings of the above-mentioned services will be exempted from value-added tax, and enjoy a 10 percent deduction in taxable income. The scope of VAT exemption for household services companies with contract-based employment will be expanded.
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