Hong Kong plans to set its first official poverty line in 2013. The threshold will be decided by a panel of experts at the Commission on Poverty but is expected to be set at half of the median household income.
Relief measures for the poor after poverty line established: Carrie Lam
More long-term relief measures for the poor will be rolled out in the next policy address after a poverty line is established later this year, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has said.
"A poverty line will be set up in October to help quantify the poverty-stricken population for a focused analysis," said Lam on a radio programme yesterday.
"The government will then roll out more long-term relief measures in the next policy address after the poverty line is formed," she said.
One in three of the city's elderly is living in poverty, revealed a six-monthly report the Council of Social Service released last week.
Responding to the report, Lam said: "The Commission of Poverty will not throw out across-the-board measures to tackle the problem … We need to examine different segments' needs based on individual income, assets and health conditions."
The Community Care Fund Task Force will find ways to alleviate the city's imminent social problems, she said, giving the example of an extra subsidy for severely disabled people who rely on medical equipment.
Lam also said the government would not implement the long-awaited universal retirement protection scheme because of a lack of consensus in society.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had previously said there would be no immediate "sweeteners" for the people, but promised that Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah would announce more detailed measures to help the needy in the budget speech to be delivered next month.