Poor need long-term inflation relief through jobs: economists

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While the state does need to provide poor families with financial assistance amid soaring consumer prices, long-term measures to control inflation and ensure social welfare cannot be ignored, economists say.
At least 5 million low-income people, including pensioners, civil servants and military personnel, are expected to receive VND250,000 a month from a state fund for inflation relief. The assistance was made available in April, after inflation almost reached 14 percent last month.
Cao Sy Kiem, a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policies Advisory Council, said in a report on VTC News website Friday that the relief was a timely measure and will benefit low-income residents.
But to provide lasting help to poor people, a long-term plan needs to create more jobs in the production sector, he said.
Economist Nguyen Minh Phong expressed concern that some better off people may lie about their earnings to get the welfare payments, diverting the relief targeted at poor people.
Phong said in the report that the government should just try to bring down prices instead of offering the financial assistance.
The Asian Development Bank said on April 6 that it anticipates Vietnam's inflation to remain high through 2011, averaging 13.3 percent, before moderating to an average 6.8 percent in 2012.

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