Posted on | June 1, 2012 by Wendy Wright |
If you thought it was costly to have a child, consider how much one couple in China paid. For violating China’s one-child policy by having a second child, the parents were fined 1.3 million yuan ($204,114).
Local family planning authorities worked with commerce, industry and township officials to investigate the couple’s finances. The parents were deemed “rich in assets” and hit with the highest fine on record.
The shock of the amount is compounded by the sex of the child. The couple’s first child, born in 1995, is a son. The second costly addition, born in February, is a baby girl. In a country where aborting girls is so prevalent it is suffering from a lack of females, China ought to be paying couples to have girls. Instead, these parents somehow eluded the authorities long enough to give birth, and paid a premium when caught.
The South China Morning Post reports that fines for violating China’s one-child policy are equivalent to three to 10 times the average after-tax income of the city where the couple lives or the net income of rural residents. But the family planning authority in this case said it based the fine on the provincial Population and Family Planning Ordinance. Parents with higher than average disposable incomes have to pay more.
The high cost is meant to deter people from having more than one child, an official told a newspaper.
It also allows for an ironic twist. If cost conveys value, these parents have exhibited the great worth of a child.