Officials to have 'rough idea' of Hong Kong poverty line by July

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 10:51am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the Commission on Poverty would have a “rough idea” on how the city’s first poverty line should be set in six months.

Pegging the poverty line with the monthly median household income could be “a starting point”, he said on Tuesday morning. He also expressed hopes that Hong Kong's poverty line would have international credibility.

“We will collect different ideas through the Commission on Poverty. The process of drawing up the poverty line needs participation from different professionals, such as government economists, the Census and Statistics Department, the Central Policy Unit and the officials of our bureau,” Cheung told local radio.

Asked when they could come up with such an idea, he said: “We will definitely have a rough idea in the first half of the year.”

He said the initial proposal that had been floated could be discussed further.

Cheung reiterated the government’s stance that the poverty line would be drawn up within the year.

On the issue of standard working hours, he said the government would set up a committee by the end of March to study it. He said it was important for the community to agree on the issue.