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China beefs up spending on social security, healthcare

Published on Mar 5, 2014 2:11 PM

While the spotlight of China's budget this year was on the 12.2 per cent boost in defence spending - its fastest pace since 2011 - there were other parts of the government's spending plan such as its boost in healthcare and social security that were as significant.

National defence took up the biggest chunk of the projected 15 trillion yuan (S$3 trillion) of national expenditure this year, unveiled on Wednesday at the opening session of the national parliament.

Still, Beijing's 9.8 per cent jump in social security and employment spending to 715 billion yuan also reflected its domestic priorities, amid growing public pressure to secure jobs for China's record 7 million college graduates every year and provide adequate safety nets for its fast-ageing population.

This compared with 657 billion yuan in actual spending last year, which exceeded last year's budget and represented a 14 per cent increase.

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