Use of China’s “Social Upbringing Fee" Remains Unclear
China’s “social upbringing fee" is part of the
Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) one-child policy.
It was formerly know as “one-child policy violation charge".
Chinese civilians have made stronger calls
for announcing the use of collected fines.
Recently, the CCP National Audit Office announced that
about 1.627 billion Yuan of “social upbringing fees" had
been illegally collected by local governments in 9 provinces.
This number is widely believed to be an underestimate.
The information on use of “social upbringing
fees" is not organized or transparent.
On September 18, the CCP Audit Office announced the
auditing results between 2009 and May 2012 of 45 counties
from 9 provinces including Chongqing, Yunnan and Gansu.
Preliminary statistics show that, a total of 1.627 billion Yuan
was illegally collected in the name of “social upbringing fee".
According to the audit, the most serious
problems include the exact number of extra
births being mostly unclear and understated.
There are no unified standards in charging fines.
Local governments have too much operating
space in implementation of policies.
Officials sometimes illegally set proposed fines for their
subordinates, and a large amount of fees are embezzled.
Wu Youshui, lawyer: “Anything off the
account books can never be found by auditors.
The Audit Office can only check vouchers and account items.
Anything that does not enter the account
book cannot be found from those records.
Furthermore, an external account is prepared for such audit
from higher authorities. That one is simply made for outsiders.
There is another internal account
that can only be seen by insiders."
On July 11, Zhejiang lawyer Wu Youshui sent express mail
to 31 provincial or municipal governments of the mainland.
It requested the announcement of income and
expenses from “social upbringing fees" in 2012.
By the end of August, 17 governments had responded
to Wu, and only provided their annual fine amounts.
This totalled over 16.5 billion Yuan.
None of the 31 Family Planning or Financial Departments
provided details of income or expenses requested by Wu.
Wu Youshui: “Manipulation of accounts is
a must, otherwise they cannot be evened.
The reason is that two tasks have to be accomplished
simultaneously by the Family Planning Departments.
First, they have to collect at least a specific amount
of ＇social upbringing fees＇ as required by higher levels.
To collect more fines, they will intentionally
leave people to give birth to extra children.
On the other hand, they have another compulsory task.
This is to control the population
growth below a regulated line.
To accomplish both goals, the only
solution is to cheat on both issues."
Following Wu Youshui, another 14 Chinese female lawyers
requested information from the National Audit Office.
They requested announcing the use
of “social upbringing fees" on September 1.
China Youth Daily also made direct criticisms that
the whole system is still a complete mess to date.
He Yafu, a long-term researcher of one-child
policy, spoke told to ＇Investor China＇ newspaper.
Assume that 10,000 Yuan has been
fined for each extra child since 1980.
A total of 1.5 to 2 trillion Yuan should have been collected
from the 150 to 200 million extra births over these years.
Another scholar, Yang Zhizhu made an estimate according
to the average one-child violation charges of 9 provinces.
About 27.9 billion Yuan is fined
over the whole country every year.
Yang was once an associate professor of
China Youth University for Political Sciences.
He was fired in 2010, due to violation of one-child policy.
He refused to pay the 240,000 Yuan “social upbringing fee"
charged by the district family planning committee.
After that, the court seized Yang’s bank cards for two months,
and forcibly charged that amount of money from the cards.
Cai Shenkun, column writer of BWChinese.com:
“There is no practical way to know the exact number.
Annually, at least tens of billions
are squandered by those officials.
Nobody knows where this has been spent, either
by eating, drinking, playing or embezzling it away."
On August 3, Chinese newspaper “the
Economic Observer" published an article.
“Money-collecting tricks of the Top 100 County’s Government".
The article revealed that, in Xiping County of Henan
Province, employees of all administrative units who
have extra children were forced to pay fines.
This totaled as much as tens of
thousands of Yuan for the second time.
A total of 500 million Yuan was collected by such means.
Wang Ruping, a resident of Xiping County, hanged
herself at her new home in the evening.
Her husband was informed of the extra
40,000 Yuan charge on the same day.
The 33-year-old Wang was a mother of a boy and a girl.