Show Us You are Poor and a Good Citizen: Public Assistance Eligibility in Chinese Main Cities

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Abstract

This paper examines the eligible criteria of the Minimum Living Standard Scheme (MLSS) in Chinese main cities. The MLSS policy documents of 31 Chinese cities were obtained from relevant local governments’ websites and then analysed by NVivo 10 for Windows. It was found that the cities are using several criteria to assess the eligibility of public assistance applicants, including income, expenditures, living space, household electrical appliances, leisure, motivation to work, and acceptable behaviour. It is obvious that the local governments have adopted a life-style assessment approach to decide the eligibility of the applicants. This approach, however, has two main weaknesses. Firstly, the MLSS claimants have to demonstrate that they are in extreme hardship and this has separated them from the rest of society. Their poor quality of life will be a barrier to their social integration to community. Secondly, some terms about the quality of life style are too ambiguous and different cities have different criteria on a poor living standard. As public assistance criteria vary from city to city, this leads to an unequal access to public benefits among Chinese citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventIntegrating International Research, Policy and Practice in Developing Welfare Services - Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
Duration: 16 Sep 201517 Sep 2015

Conference

ConferenceIntegrating International Research, Policy and Practice in Developing Welfare Services
Country/TerritoryChina
CityGuangzhou
Period16/09/1517/09/15

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