Have the goals on people’s livelihoods in the 2018 Government Work Report, delivered by Premier Li Keqiang, been realized? Let’s take a look at each of them.
• To create over 11 million new urban jobs, and control the surveyed urban unemployment rate within 5.5 percent
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the number of new jobs in urban areas reached 12.93 million from January to November, and the unemployment rate in urban areas was 4.8 percent in November.
• Domestic data roaming charges will be abolished
Domestic data roaming charges were canceled on July 1, 2018 and provincial data was upgraded to domestic data, excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
• To raise the personal income tax threshold and create expense deductions for items like children’s education and treatment for serious diseases
The threshold for personal income tax exemption was raised from 3,500 yuan (about $509) to 5,000 yuan per month on Oct 1, 2018.
The State Council on Dec 22 announced special individual income tax deductions, which will come into effect on Jan 1, 2019.
• Per capita government subsidies for basic health insurance for rural and non-working urban residents will be increased by 40 yuan
The State Medical Insurance Administration and three other ministries and commissions announced an increase in per capita government subsidies for basic health insurance for rural and non-working urban residents by 40 yuan in July 2018.
• To continue raising basic pension benefits for rural and non-working urban residents
The minimum monthly pension for rural and non-working urban residents was raised from 70 yuan per person to 88 yuan on Jan 1.
• To launch a new three-year renovation plan to address housing in rundown urban areas, starting with construction this year on 5.8 million units
Construction began on 6.16 million homes in dilapidated areas during the first 11 months of the year, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
• To lower import tariffs on automobiles, some everyday consumer goods, and so on
Tariffs on vehicles and auto parts were cut on July 1.
The 20-25-percent tariffs on cars were cut to 15 percent. Duties on auto parts were lowered to six percent from the previous levels of eight to 25 percent.
Tariffs on 1,449 taxable consumer goods were reduced from an average rate of 15.7 percent to 6.9 percent on July 1.
• To create integrated tourism demonstration zones, and lower ticket prices at key State tourist sites
A total of 981 State tourist sites have announced a cut in admission fees, including 159 national 5A-level and 534 4A-level scenic areas.
Of the 907 tourist sites that cut their admission fees, the admission fee of 491 tourist sites was reduced by more than 20 percent, and 214 sites have seen a price drop of over 30 percent.
• To build or upgrade 200,000 kilometers of rural roads
The Ministry of Transport announced at a press conference in December that 250,000 kilometers of rural roads were built or upgraded.