Continued priority for social security

Vietnam continues to give a high priority to ensuring social security, considering it one of the top tasks for this year. In addition to controlling inflation and stabilizing the macro economy, the government is determined to create more jobs, restructure the labor force, and improve people’s living conditions.


Continued priority for social security - ảnh 1

Last year the government made a great effort to curb inflation, stabilize the macro economy and ensure social security in the face of a world economic crisis. About 1.6 million people found jobs and millions of young people in rural areas attended vocational training courses. Primary school children were exempted from school fees and children under six had their health insurance subsidized by the government. The government provided the unemployed with an allowance and cared for people who have rendered great services to the nation. The state budget allocated to social activities increased 20% over the previous year.

But the global financial crisis and economic downturn continue to negatively affect social security and sustainable development. The government’s measures to tighten monetary policy and reduce inflation at the same time also slowed down growth and curbed employment. General Director of the Institute for Science and Labor, Nguyen Lan Huong said: “The government has been maintaining a low economic growth rate, which greatly affects employment and rural restructuring. In particular, short-term measures to ensure social security will negatively affect the labor market. For instance, the closure or the scaling down of many enterprises will necessitate a greater effort to create new jobs and reduce unemployment this year”.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will review all policies and make them more relevant to the new reality. In regard to the poverty reduction policy, which is the core of social security, the Ministry will make an effort to involve enterprises and social organizations in helping the poor. Another focus is to further accelerate the on-going mutual assistance programs within the communities. The Ministry also plans to work closely with the General Department of Vocational Training to train people in rural areas. Most importantly, the Ministry is determined to complete a decade-long framework policy on social security until 2020, amend and supplement the Labor Code, and draft a Law on Employment and Minimum Wages. The purpose is to come up with social security policies appropriate to each particular population group in order to ensure that everyone has food, accommodation, and healthcare services, and every child goes to school. “Under the draft strategy on social security until 2020, the government has urged improved services. One important task is to modernize the payment system so that services can reach beneficiaries rapidly and transparently. There are many options such as paying through the post office and involving communal cadres to monitor the payment process to ensure transparency and efficiency,” said Lan Huong, General Director of the Institute for Science and Labor.

The National Assembly is scheduled to adopt the Law on Prices, which will help to control the market and prices of essential goods. Minister of Finance Vuong Dinh Hue said: “This year special attention will be given to controlling the prices of electricity, coal, and petrol. We will tighten the auditing of related establishments including the Electricity and Oil and Gas companies to make sure the process is transparent and efficient”.

Vietnam has been pursuing a policy of developing the economy while ensuring social security and equality for sustainable development. It is believed that a sound social security system will strengthen people’s trust in the Party, State and government.

Anh Huyen