Urban minimum living subsidy increased

Updated: 2007-08-07 21:54

The Chinese government has raised the urban minimum living allowance for low-income families by 15 yuan (US$1.98) a month to try and counteract the recent inflation of daily commodities, the Ministry of Civil Affairs reported on Tuesday.

Local governments can offer a rise of more than 15 yuan if they can afford it, the ministry said.

Governments of all levels are required to implement the increase by the end of this month, the statement said.

"Low-income families have suffered most from the price hikes of daily commodities such as pork," said Li Liguo, Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's food price increased by 7.6 percent in the first half of this year over the same period last year. The egg price soared by 27.9 percent and meat price rose by 20.7 percent.

The minimum living subsidy for each person varies in different cities. In the capital of Beijing, the unemployed, those unable to work and elderly people who are financially dependent get 330 yuan (43.47 dollars) a month. If a family's income is below 330 yuan, they receive a subsidy to ensure their monthly income equals the minimum allowance.

The subsidy covers about 22 million urban Chinese.

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