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Improving income tops the public concerns list in 2012, with narrowing the wealth gap coming in second, a survey conducted by China's Central Television revealed Wednesday.
A woman surnamed Duan in Beijing said of her granddaughter's preschool education, "In January, we spent 2,600 yuan ($411.73) in learning Chinese language and math. In February, there will be extra classes such as painting. In all, extracurricular classes alone will cost more than 5,000 yuan a year."
Social insurance ranked third on the public concerns list, and home prices dropped to fifth this year from third in 2010 on the list, according to the survey.
The survey was done over four months with more than 100,000 people polled.
"I believe there are two ways to narrow the wealth gap: one is to raise the income of people with low incomes; the other is to offer more support to private enterprises and SMEs so that their salaries can be improved," said Song Zhiping, a deputy to the National People Congress (NPC).
He Wei, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) national committee, offered two other ideas: hit high income groups with more taxes and expand the middle class.