Critically Examine the Trend and Size of Poverty in Hong Kong
No burghal in the apple is as acrid and adverse as Hong Kong. This burghal has not abandoned the 6th accomplished per capita GDP, but additionally the accomplished Gini accessory in the apple (World Bank, 2011). Fortunately, the Hong Kong government isn’t axis a dark eye appear this bind but are instead actively attractive for a adaptation amid bread-and-butter achievement and amusing welfare. One notable archetype is the re-establishment of the Agency on Poverty, it is hoped that a clearly-defined abjection band will allow a new ablaze into the abjection bearings in Hong Kong.
Another important action in contempo years is the accomplishing of minimum allowance law, which has been in aftereffect for two years aiming to agreement a basal allowance for low-income workers, about its aftereffect on all-embracing appliance akin in Hong Kong is still to be determined. In this essay, I will aboriginal appraise the all-embracing trend and admeasurement of abjection in Hong Kong, again move on to appraise the capability of the present amusing aegis system, as able as the minimum allowance in eradicating abjection in Hong Kong. Poverty, is an cryptic appellation abnormally in Hong Kong.
The United Nations places the criterion for abjection as active beneath a annual assets beneath than or according to bisected of the boilerplate domiciliary assets of according admeasurement households. This is the analogue that the Agency on Abjection is acceptable to adopt. But afore the barrage of official abjection band bodies are advised poor abandoned if they administer for Absolute Amusing Aegis Abetment (CSSA), which adaptation is abundantly bent by nominal income. As a result, the cardinal of bodies applying for CSSA decreased afterwards minimum allowance law has been imposed.
In this article therefore, I will accept the UN analogue of abjection in analytical its trend and admeasurement in Hong Kong. Abjection bulk up to the year 2011 was the everyman aback that of 2001. Afore 2011, there had been an all-embracing accretion trend in both the cardinal of households active in abjection as able as the abjection rate. In this sense, 2011 can be credible as a watershed year; the abjection bulk plummeted to 17. 1% aback compared to 17. 9% in the antecedent year, which meant a abridgement of 55000 bodies adversity from poverty.
Additionally, the absolute cardinal of poor households had been ascent from 2001 to 2007, but this trend started to abatement from again on. The absolute cardinal of poor households in 2011 was 444,000, aback compared with that of the years 2007 and 2010; there had been a abridgement of 11,000 and 7000 households respectively. In animosity of the crumbling abjection trend and size, assets alterity in Hong Kong has been worsening. In the year 2001, the boilerplate annual assets of advantageous accumulation was $31,000 while that of low-income accumulation was $10,000, which meant that the aloft was 3. 1 times that of the latter.
However, this alterity connected to abound and in the year 2011, the boilerplate annual assets of the advantageous accumulation added to $35,000, while that of the low-income accumulation plunged to $9000, which meant that the advantageous accumulation had a annual assets 3. 5 times added than that of the low-income group. In brief, it is absolute that the crumbling trend and admeasurement of abjection has been promising, but that was abundantly due to the advancing abridgement instead of authoritative efforts, at the aloft time, the assets gap has been accession admitting the accomplishing of minimum allowance law.
These statistics all announce that the accepted amusing behavior are bare in eliminating the approaching blackmail of poverty. The amusing aegis arrangement in Hong Kong is a three-tier arrangement consisting of amusing abetment and amusing allowance in the anatomy of Absolute Amusing Aegis Abetment and Old Age Allowance, allowable anatomic alimony in the anatomy of Binding Provident Fund as able as clandestine saving. In the absolute allotment of the essay, the capability of the aloft amusing aegis behavior in appropriation abjection will be adjourned one by one.
The Absolute Amusing Aegis Abetment was renamed afterwards the Public Abetment Arrangement in 1993 has the sole purpose to accommodate “a assurance net for those who cannot abutment themselves financially. It is advised to accompany their assets up to a assigned akin to accommodated their basal needs. ” (Social Abundance Department, 2012) It is a non-contributory and means-tested arrangement financed wholly by the government. CSSA payments can be broadly classified into three categories: accepted rate, supplements and adapted grants.
Standard Ante from 2012 is disconnected into 5 types: age-old actuality age-old over 60 or above, ill bloom developed beneath 60, disabled child, able developed age-old beneath 60 and able child. The bulk of accepted ante payable to anniversary blazon differs, but they are beneath the aloft allegorical principles; the accepted ante for accouchement and seniors are college than those of the adults, ante for distinct individuals active abandoned are greater than those of ancestors members, and ante will admission with levels of severity of disability. Tsoi, 2002) Additionally, there are bristles types of supplements. Abiding supplement is an anniversary acquittal to recipients who accept been accepting abetment for at atomic 12 months for the backup of domiciliary and abiding goods. Distinct ancestor supplement is a annual acquittal to distinct ancestor families with adapted difficulties in bringing up their families. Association active supplement is a annual acquittal to old, disabled and certified ill-health CSSA recipients active in the association instead of any institutions.
Transport supplement aims to advance amusing affiliation and bounded advancement by accouterment annual abetment to certified 100% disabled as able as citizenry amid 12 to 64 years of age. Aftermost but not least, the ambition of the residential affliction supplement is to abate the adaptation burdens of old, disabled and certified ill-health CSSA applicants who are not active in subsidised apartment estates. Besides, a ambit of adapted grants are additionally set up to accommodated applicants’ adapted needs including academy fees, school-related expenses, capital traveling costs and so on.
Famous English philosopher Midgley already commented that redistributing abundance in the anatomy of amusing abetment has the “most absolute abeyant appulse on the abjection problem. ” She articular three all-important altitude in adjustment to absolutely apprehend this potential, first, amusing abetment charge be banking by accelerating taxation, second, the akin of annual provided charge be acceptable to accession recipients out of abjection and third, beggared bodies charge accept accessible admission to amusing abetment schemes and that these schemes would not avert them from applying for help. Tsoi, 2002). With applies the aloft mentioned three attack to Hong Kong, it is aces to highlight that Hong Kong abandoned accomplished the aboriginal action out of the three. In the afterward paragraphs, the low capability of the CSSA will be discussed with annual to its akin of benefits, action of appliance as able as incentives for its recipients to adjust into the job market. The akin of allowances by the accepted ante of the CSSA cannot reflect the absolute needs of its recipients, but are in actuality set arbitrarily. At the oment, the accepted ante of CSSA recipients are advised and adapted annually by the Legislative Council to reflect the changes in Price Akin by the Census and Statistics Department. The Consumption Price Index however, is a advertence to the domiciliary bulk of the 25% of the citizenry with the everyman income. It is awful arguable as to whether the domiciliary expenditures of the poor households would be an accurate indicator and accord to what they absolutely charge to abutment their circadian living. In addition, some CSSA recipients declared the action of appliance as base and intimidating.
According to a collective activity by the Department of Applied Amusing Sciences in Polytechnic University and Oxfam Hong Kong on Perception and Utilization of the CSSA in 2007, it was begin that some recipients acquainted that their applications were consistently delayed and mishandled. Some applicants alike accused the amusing aegis admiral as accepting bad amenities and abridgement empathy. These allegation were begin out afterwards all-embracing interviews and accumulation discussion, although it is ambiguous as to the representativeness of the sample size, the appraisal to the “humiliating” appliance procedures charge point to some abode of accuracy that the CSSA recipients feel.
Besides, some amusing workers in the abstraction additionally complained that “some admiral tend to insult and abuse the applicants by authoritative absurd requests”. Going aback to Midgley’s third action in adjustment to eradicate abjection which apropos the admission to amusing aegis charge not avert the beggared from applying; the Amusing Casework Department could acutely do a bigger job. Furthermore, there is consistently an bond affair that accepting CSSA would animate a “dependency culture”, abnormally aback the CSSA mechanisms do not animate able recipients to attain bread-and-butter independence.
Contrary to accepted delusion that abandoned able apathetic bodies and new immigrants would administer for CSSA, best CSSA applicants, amounting to 60% (Oxfam, 2007) amusement amusing aegis as the aftermost resort to allay their acute banking circumstances. However, due to a abridgement of abutment services, abandoned 8%-10% of able CSSA recipients are able to re-enter the aggressive job bazaar (Ming Pao Circadian News, 2000) through the Adapted Job Attachment Programme. In addition, the added bulk for attempting to re-enter the job bazaar may ut an added appraisal on the families accepting CSSA, let abandoned some distinct parent’s families with bereft child-care accessories may accept to accumulate on accepting abundance instead of working. In short, CSSA do not accommodate acceptable allurement for its recipients to re-join the assignment force, which is the abandoned way to escape poverty. Another aspect of the amusing aegis arrangement in Hong Kong is allowable anatomic pension, which is in the anatomy of Binding Provident Fund in Hong Kong. It is a compulsory, occupation-related arrangement with authentic annual addition by both administration and employees.
The Binding Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance was anesthetized in 2000 with the achievement of deepening the assurance net and retirement protection. Addition to the MPF is allowable to be 10% of the employee’s assets with which 5% is contributed by his/her employer. Besides, the binding addition is adapted with appliance to employees’ income. Afterwards the accomplishing of minimum wage, the annual accordant assets is readjusted, for advisers with annual assets beneath than $6500, abandoned their administration are allowable to accord 5% of accordant income, this becomes the minimum contribution.
On the alternative hand, for advisers with assets college than $25000, both administration and advisers are adapted to accord $1250, this becomes the best contribution. All MPF contributions will be injected into registered MPF trustee in the bazaar called by the employers, but now, advisers will be able to accept new MPF arrangement annually based on their performance. In the afterward paragraphs, the limitations of the MPF arrangement will be discussed including its apprenticed advantage as able as bare retirement aegis which assuredly bassinet its effectiveness.
As aforementioned, MPF is an employment-related aegis scheme, which agency that abandoned bodies with abiding appliance arrangement will accept retirement protection. The MPF abandoned accept apprenticed advantage and do not accept accepted aegis as bodies afar from the workforce including the sick, the disabled, housewives, hawkers, calm advisers and so on are unprotected, this bulk to absolutely a ample allocation in the population. Besides, the administration ability try to balk from the allowable contributions by altering the agreement of appliance contract.
Employers are accurately apprenticed to accord to MPF for their advisers if they are active for added than 60 days, therefore, some administration may advisedly change the appliance arrangement to 59 canicule or abolish the arrangement and re-employ the employees. In brief, the MPF arrangement does not provided for accepted aegis in the faculty that a cogent allocation of the citizenry is larboard unprotected, let abandoned some able administration attack to adapt the appliance arrangement in adjustment to abstain accidental to their employees’ retirement aegis scheme.
Furthermore, the asperity of the MPF Arrangement is that admitting its cold is to accommodate retirement aegis and reinforce the assurance net, the aegis is in actuality far from sufficient. MPF is a define-contribution arrangement but it is not a defined-benefits scheme, which meant that employees’ addition is accidental aloft abounding factors including the continuance of contribution, allotment from investments by the advisers afterwards advertent the aerial authoritative and transaction costs incurred, as able as the bulk of contribution.
This led to the assured alternation of allowances which is neither affirmed by the advisers nor adequate by the government. Besides, the arrangement was alien abandoned in 2000, which meant that bodies about retirement age at that time would accept either little or no aegis at all due to the abbreviate addition period. At the moment, age-old abjection was one of the severest forms of abjection in Hong Kong. In short, adverse to its antecedent intention, the MPF does not agreement retirement protection, instead abandoned added added uncertainties and alternation to lives afterwards retirement.
The approved minimum allowance was anesthetized in 2010 and absolutely implemented Labour Day of 2011. It aims at “striking an adapted antithesis amid arresting badly low accomplishment and minimising the accident of low-paid jobs while comestible Hong Kong’s bread-and-butter advance and competitiveness (Labour Department, 2011). The antecedent minimum allowance bulk was set at $28, but the agency set up by the government to analysis the minimum allowance bulk biannually has agreed to admission to $30 an hour. From a abstract standpoint, ambience up a allowance attic would agitated the antithesis of the labour bazaar by banishment some low accomplishment workers to be laid off.
Nevertheless, the government estimated that 273800 grassroot workers would annual from the law and could sustain a basal akin of active by alienated from actuality underpaid. Afterwards about two years aback the law has passed, however, it seems that letters about administration aggravating to cut the binding allowances of advisers were not aberrant and the absolute aftereffect and backlash of minimum allowance on the labour bazaar is yet to be unravelled. In the afterward essay, I will appraise the accomplishing of minimum allowance law with attention to its capability in eradicating abjection in Hong Kong.
In adjustment to appraise the capability of minimum wage, the aboriginal indicator is changes in annual assets of the lower assets groups aback compared with college assets groups in the lower bisected year of 2011. If we bisect the accomplished citizenry appropriately into ten decile groups with the aboriginal decile accumulation actuality the atomic 10% of the bodies and the tenth decile accumulation actuality the wealthiest 10%, it was begin that in the aboriginal three decile groups all acquaintance admission in annual assets alignment from 6. 9% to 9. 3%, while the aftermost three decile groups acquaintance either no change or abrogating advance in their annual assets (HKCSS, 2011).
However, attractive at assets abandoned would not be a absolute appraisal of the aftereffect of minimum allowance law accustomed that the bread-and-butter began to bang about the time minimum allowance was implemented. Therefore, a abundant added reliable appraisal would be to analyze the active standards of low assets households afore and afterwards the minimum allowance came into force. A abstraction commissioned by Oxfam Hong Kong adopted a two-stage stratified surveys that annual bankrupt households with at atomic one ancestors affiliate accepting minimum allowance and analyze their alimentation from March 2011 to January 2012.
In the afterward paragraphs, allegation from this abstraction will be added analysed. In agreement of annual income, the minimum allowance law has absolutely admission the nominal domiciliary income. About 70% of interviewees, apery 131125 families appear an admission in domiciliary assets afterwards the addition of minimum wage. Moreover, 72. 6% of them additionally appear a acceleration in abandoned workers’ income. In animosity of an admission in annual assets and in fact, alternate assets as well, alive hours of workers decreased.
The boilerplate alternate allowance of respondents who backward in the aloft job afore and afterwards accomplishing of minimum allowance increased, 56. 8% of them alike accept an alternate allowance that exceeded $28. However, the aloft accumulation of bodies who abide in the aloft job additionally acquaintance an boilerplate cut of about 13. 9 alive hours. This abridgement of alive hour is added generally than not, at the amount of the workers’ annual such as cancelling paid cafeteria hour or meal breach and no overtime acquittal and so on. 46. % of respondents complained that the ahead paid blow canicule were annulled aback the administration of minimum allowance law. Taking into annual of the accident of paid blow canicule as able as alternative binding benefits, accompanying with the abridgement in alive hours, over bisected of the respondents, 55. 8% of them accomplished a bead in abandoned assets admitting the credible admission in nominal annual income. In the branch aloft apropos CSSA recipients, it was briefly mentioned that they amusement amusing abetment as their aftermost resort to abate their banking situation.
In fact, best of them acquainted “perceivable prejudice” adjoin them. The addition of minimum allowance has a advanced application, but it affects best decidedly low-income jobs that CSSA recipients crave. About bisected of the respondents accepting CSSA in the Oxfam abstraction assert the capability of allowance attic as an catalyst to abdicate accepting amusing assistance. This in brief, could abode the charge of CSSA recipients to aggressiveness and annihilate the accusation or characterization that they feel absorbed to them by re-entering the job market.
Nonetheless, admission in assets to a assertive admeasurement does not beggarly or announce abjection alleviation. The best cardinal award in the Oxfam abstraction is that it reveals 40. 5% of households still alive in denial admitting the minimum allowance law. This is because they ascertain “deprivation” as the inabilities to allow at atomic three items that are dubbed capital by best Hong Kong association including dental check-ups, leisure activities, allow to go to clandestine clinics aback ailing and tea abode and so on.
According to Townsend (1979), “a actuality is advised to be in abjection if he or she does not accept abundant assets to accredit him or her to participate in accustomed activities frequently affianced by accustomed associates in the association and accordingly cannot become absolutely chip into the boilerplate of society. ” Therefore, aback 40. 5% of respondents, apery 531354 households are still beggared of a adventitious to appoint in amusing activities artlessly due to the actuality that they still could not allow the items they charge accent aloof how abortive minimum allowance legislation has been in eradicating poverty.
In conclusion, appropriation bodies out of abjection is a difficult botheration that could not be apparent by any amusing action alone, let abandoned the abounding flaws and limitations that are anchored in amusing policies. However, it is abandoned through anecdotic the blemish in amusing abundance behavior could we accomplish advance on them and hopefully attain the final ambition of eradicating abjection at the end. Advertence list: Hong Kong Council of Amusing Service, The Statistic analysis of the Low Assets Domiciliary in Hong Kong, 2011. w. hkcss. org. hk/index_e. asp Labour Department (2011). Approved Minimum Wage: Advertence Guidelines for Administration and Employees. Legislative Council (2012). Afore and Afterwards the Approved Minimum Allowance Ordinance in Hong Kong: Survey of Low-income workers and their Families. Oxfam Hong Kong and Centre for Amusing Action Studies, Department of Applied Amusing Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2007). Perception and Utilization of CSSA: a Abstraction on the Views of the Public and the Lower Assets people.
Social Abundance Department (2012), Absolute Amusing Abetment Scheme, retrieved from: http://www. swd. gov. hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_socsecu/sub_comprehens/ Tsoi Kcon-wah , “Poverty Eradication and Amusing Aegis in Hong kong”, in Advances in Amusing abundance in Hong Kong, ed. ,) by D. T. L. Shek, 2002, Chapter 9. Apple Bank (2011), Gini Index, retrieved from: http://data. worldbank. org/indicator/SI. POV. GINI
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