• Tue
  • Sep 30, 2014
  • Updated: 7:51am
CY Leung policy address 2014
NewsHong Kong

CY Leung to unveil HK$3b boost for poor families in policy address

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 January, 2014, 3:57am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 7:07am


  • Yes: 25%
  • No: 75%
15 Jan 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 191

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying will today unveil a HK$3 billion scheme to provide an annual financial boost to 700,000 people from low-income households.

The initiative will be a key component of Leung's second policy address, which will focus on poverty alleviation, housing, health care, education and economic development.

A source with knowledge of the scheme said working poor families whose monthly household income was below 60 per cent of median household income - which stood at HK$22,500 in the third quarter of last year - could apply for the subsidy. A family with at least one member who works for at least 208 hours a month will receive HK$1,000 per month, while a family with someone working for at least 144 hours a month will get HK$600.

"A working poor household will be offered a monthly supplement of HK$800 for each non-working child, aged 18 or under, and another HK$800 for the second child," the source said. "There is no cap on the number of children eligible."

A four-member family with two children could receive a supplement of HK$2,600 a month. To qualify, a family of four must have net assets totalling no more than HK$436,000. But families without children would also be eligible to receive the subsidy.

The scheme is more generous than one proposed by Oxfam, where a family would receive HK$800 a month for the first two children aged 18 or under, adjusted downwards from the third child onwards to reflect the family's decreasing costs.

In September, the government arrived at a figure of 1.31 million poor by drawing the poverty line at half the median household income.

The number of working poor households - using a definition identical to the new poverty line - rose by 6,000 in 2012, bringing the total to 191,000.

Leung will give an update on progress being made in areas such as housing, poverty alleviation and care for the elderly.



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This article is now closed to comments

CYL ceo of HKSAR
a body politic / economic / social
talked like he were ceo of a welfare operation
Business in Cantonese is live idea 生意
live in an active and proactive sense
not live as if under a cardio respiratory sustaining apparatus
that can’t run forever
If it is difficult to find land now for development
the difficulty will only intensify in time
What are the likely kind / size of economic returns
to be expected from the planned welfare / assistance outlays?
How likely would they reinvigorate HKSAR’s outside dependent economy?
For discussion sake let’s take a long view
and start with HKSAR running on the principle of 1C2S
Here’s a system of free market and free mobility
Let’s see how other free market systems work
Many indigenous Hkers and immigrants from China who call this place home
would love to live in Australia, Canada and America
for clean air, democracy, liberal education, …etc
They should look around and ask themselves
why are there so many expatriates
from these “paradise-like” western countries
expatriates with HK middle class income and living standard?
It’s time free market and not government policy
allocated resources and distributed income
Those who can’t compete in HK should consider China
or elsewhere, say Singapore, Malaysia, etc
Think Huguenots and don’t admire people’s commune’s big pot rice
This will only add money into the economic system, boost consumption, then increase in inflation. It is a short term fix. If you do something to the salaries, this will add inflation to the system also. The better way tackle this problem is to look from the "cost" angle. These families need low cost food source and transport. The gov't did a good job of moving some residential estate to these areas, creating shopping malls like the ones in Lohas Park and Tin Shui Wei to create jobs. But still, food is expensive for these people. There are literally free food sources in HK that these people don't know about. This will help these people not only having more disposable income, but also more resources to spend on their next generation.
Do something about the salaries instead of taking my tax money to subsidize our tycoons They are able to pay higher wages if they can make billions!!!
CY- Just do it first. Refinements later.
1. Despite the optimistic examples, this works out to about HKD 350 dollar per person on average (3bn/700k/12). Better than nothing but a 350 dollar monthly handout is not going to solve the gigantic problems of housing and education cost that our poor face.

2. How is this not basically an indirect subsidy to employers to keep wages low?
Working more as an incentive sounds good. I have a few restaurant owner friends that tell me people on subsidies will come looking for work, but on "cash only" basis to stay under the government radar. If the wage is low, they would rather not work.
We need to find a way to provide incentives for people to be productive, perhaps through education or retooling.
How about this: to qualify for the monthly government subsidy, you either have to work or be in school full time. Tuition can be subsidized, BUT, somehow, we need to tie in subsidy and employment and provide incentives to change behavior. At some point, hopefully, citizens will find that it's better to be productive in the work force rather than staying at home, collecting government hand outs.
Even for college fresh grads. Many apply for government housing before they graduate, knowing that this is a "freebie". After they get their jobs, they stay in government housing, and invest the extra cash in China real estate. Though that's a good way to get rich (better than $20 a day), though I'm a bit disappointed by this type of behavior.
An explanation of how to save out of poverty. Let me know what you think. Good luck.
An explanation of how to save out of poverty. Let me know what you think. Good luck.


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