BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's government spending on social security and employment rose 12.6 percent in the January-July period from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance (MOF) data showed on Wednesday.
During the seven months, total social safety-net and employment spending stood at 965.36 billion yuan (156.77 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for about 60 percent of the budgeted 1.59 trillion yuan for the whole year.
As much as 914.69 billion yuan of the total spending was by local governments, up 12.7 percent year on year, while the spending by the central government increased 10.4 percent to 50.67 billion yuan.
This is the first time the ministry has released monthly figures on social security spending, in addition to data on a yearly basis.
Bai Jingming, a researcher with the MOF, said the budget for social security and employment, which accounted for 10 percent of this year's total public finance budget, is the second-largest expenditure for state and local governments only after the spending on education.
The release of more detailed spending information to the public will help make sure that no expenditure is missed, Bai said.
According to the MOF, the largest portion of social security spending in January-July went into social insurance fund subsidies, which rose 17.4 percent from a year ago to 357.02 billion yuan, as the country raised basic insurance for retirees in 2014.
During the period, 8.01 billion yuan was spent by central and local governments on disaster relief, up 10.1 percent year on year.