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Assets check required for govt welfare (2)

By Chen Xin (China Daily)

08:24, February 07, 2012

"And what's more important, a motorbike could be used as a tool to make money," he said.

Qi said the new regulation would go through a pilot period for a year, and each district and county could make minor adjustments according to their own situations.

The government will require civil affairs, social security, housing and transportation and finance departments to carry out due diligence in assessing eligibility and to ensure equity in the distribution of welfare payments.

Applicants will also be asked to fill in a form to list all family incomes and assets and consent to allow the civil affairs department to check their financial resources.

"Any applicant whose declaration contradicts the facts and wants to cheat the welfare system will not be allowed to apply for the subsidy again for six months and will have a mark on their record in a credit system," according to the rules.

Qi said the new regulations make oversight more effective because authorities will take the totality of an applicant's financial situation into account.

Lu said it is necessary to screen applicants for eligibility, but it is not always easy for authorities to acquire the truth.

"Some people may do some odd jobs to get payments in cash, which authorities have no way of knowing about," she said.

Lu also said it's questionable for the government to check household bank accounts and stock returns.

"The confidentiality of a household's financial situation should be highly respected," she said.

Lu said although it is complicated to tell the difference between people and those who game the system, the new regulation represents progress and are proof of the government's efforts to make its welfare policy and system more efficient.

He Dan contributed to this story.

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