Show us you are poor and a good citizen: public assistance eligibility in Chinese main cities

Chan, C.K. ORCID: 0000-0002-9461-8623, 2015. Show us you are poor and a good citizen: public assistance eligibility in Chinese main cities. In: Integrating International Research, Policy and Practice in Developing Welfare Services Conference, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, 16-17 September 2015, Guangzhou.


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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.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Creators: Chan, C.K.
Date: 2015
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 28 Oct 2015 10:33
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:55

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