The State Council, China's cabinet, pledged affordable housing for urban low-income groups and raised monthly pensions for retired state-owned enterprise staff at a meeting Thursday, the South China Morning Post reported. The new policy aims to provide rent subsidies or low-rent housing for low-income groups and the poor by the end of 2010. Another goal of the policy is to pay farmers US$7 for each sow pig they keep and set up a system to insure against the loss of sows due to natural disasters and disease. The premium for each sow is set at US$8 with a maximum coverage of US$132. The government will pay 80% of this premium and has set aside US$14 billion for the subsidies this year.