[ISG] Survey of Recent Developments: Family Matters

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On 7 June 2016, Dr Riatu Qibthiyyah from The University of Indonesia and Dr Ariane Utomo from The Australian National University presented early findings of Survey of recent developments: family matters for the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES). The paper put emphasis on  the recent developments of Indonesia’s demography particularly on family matters. The presentation was attended by academics, students, and professionals of 32 people and of which 9 people were female.

Indonesia’s economic growth was slower than predicted, despite the many incentives and structural reform policies issued by the government. On the price side, the inflation and exchange rates were relatively stable. One of the issue faced by the fiscal was the amount of spending, particularly on infrastructure, was bigger than the revenue from the tax. To finance the deficit, Indonesian government issued government bonds, in addition to gaining revenue from the tax-amnesty policy. On top of infrastructure spending, the government also bore social subsidies which was higher than what must be paid for energy subsidies. The National Health Insurance (NHI), one type of social subsidies, had suffered low contribution and high claims which led to higher subsidy than expected.

In addition, the success of social assistance program was related to the number of targeted people in need and the structure of household. Dr Qibthiyyah and Dr Utomo argued that the demography of Indonesian families had changed in the course of the decade. There had been a recorded decline in the number of average household size, the leveling off of fertility rates, a slight reversal in the ages of getting married for the first time, a decline in age gap between married couples, an increase in inter-ethnic marriages, and an increase of the number of divorce. These changes might create future challenges on social protection programs, especially since Indonesia was experiencing aging population and an increase in the number of vulnerable families.

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