Wealth gap

Hidden household income in China tops 6.2tr yuan: study

Cyclists pass an advertisement for a soon to be opened saleroom for Bugatti and Lamborghini supercars in Beijing. Photo: EPA

China’s hidden household income totaled 6.2 trillion yuan in 2011– accounting for 12 per cent of the country’s GDP – underlining the widespread impression corruption represents a “serious challenge” to society, a state-backed foundation’s study says.

Tuesday, 24 September, 2013, 3:17am

Letters to the Editor, June 15, 2013

Barbarians and the Lions at Hong Kong Stadium. Photo: AP

Land exchange best hope for urban growth

I refer to Jake van der Kamp's column ("Land exchange is not the way forward", June 6) in reply to my letter ("Adopt land exchange for new town", June 5).

I was delighted to read his cosy view that we are "under nowhere near the development pressures we faced back then", from the 1960s to the 1980s.

15 Jun 2013 - 1:53am

Papua New Guinea's growing wealth gap fuels torture, killing of 'witches'

Villagers watch as suspected witch Helen Rumbali burns. Photo: AFP

On a tropical island in Papua New Guinea where most people live in huts, a mob armed with guns, machetes and axes stormed a wooden house by night. They seized Helen Rumbali and three female relatives, set the building on fire and took the women away to be tortured. Their alleged crime: witchcraft.

11 Jun 2013 - 2:42am

Wealth gap is widening, union group warns

After interviewing 364 low-paid workers from January to March, the CTU found that 26 per cent had wage increases above the 3.6 per cent rise in consumer prices last year

The benefits of the minimum wage are wearing off for the lowest-paid workers, a union group says. This is shown by the fact that the lowest-paid had an average wage increase less than that of general workers - the reverse of 2011 when the statutory minimum wage law took effect - the Confederation of Trade Unions said yesterday.

30 Apr 2013 - 5:25am

Education must be a prime focus for Hong Kong

Professor Esther Ho Sui-chu

Given that higher education is important to Hong Kong's future competitiveness, the expectations of the city's 15-year-olds give cause for concern. According to figures compiled by Chinese University academics from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009, only 47.2 per cent thought they would complete a university education.

29 Apr 2013 - 2:06am 1 comment

Hong Kong political veteran Elsie Tu criticises tycoons with no conscience

Elsie Tu

The former lawmaker and urban councillor, who turns 100 on June 2, became emotional when expressing sympathy for striking dock workers and anger with a billionaire, whom she declined to name.

22 Apr 2013 - 12:48pm 22 comments

Poll reveals widening income gap in Hong Kong

The poll also found that the poor tended to lag behind in terms of technological know-how and even self-confidence. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong's poorest 20 per cent take up just 6 per cent of society's income share while the rich take up 43 per cent, a poll has found as the city's notoriously wide income gap continues to worsen.

10 Apr 2013 - 7:40am

The misery of Hong Kong's wealth gap

While our collective wealth is improving, the ever-widening wealth gap has become a source of social tensions. Photo: EPA

Hong Kong people are a miserable lot. According to the misery index constructed by Shue Yan University's Economic and Wellbeing Project, seven in 10 Hongkongers say they are living in misery.

30 Mar 2013 - 3:30am 1 comment

Letters to the Editor, March 18, 2013

People watch fireworks in a Beijing street. Photo: AFP

After studying how the topic has been discussed over the last 20 plus years, I realise that, like what the experts say about grief over a lost loved one, there are five stages Hongkongers have experienced in their thinking on universal suffrage, although some have occurred simultaneously and not necessarily always in the following order.

18 Mar 2013 - 1:41am 7 comments

Wealth tax idea worthy of debate

A higher tax on our top tier of wealth or income can help bridge inequality. Photo: Bloomberg

A higher tax on the owners of Singapore's most expensive homes - the top 1 per cent - resonates here because it is aimed at closing a widening income gap, a problem we share. But it has prompted property and tax experts to say it would not work in Hong Kong because our residential property market is different. 

3 Mar 2013 - 3:32am 2 comments

Education is key to closing Hong Kong's wealth gap

Professor Chou Kee-lee, of the Institute of Education.

Using government census figures, Professor Chou Kee-lee, of the Institute of Education, has found disturbing inequity that could entrench the wealth gap that officials are trying to close.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:04am 3 comments

A sensible step towards a just society

Premier Wen Jiabao promised to 'resolutely reverse the widening income gap', with mixed success. Photo: Xinhua

In every nation there are people who have more than others, but on the mainland the gap is worryingly wide. Leaders have long been mindful of the need to lessen the divide, their efforts spurred by a rising tide of protest against injustice and corruption. China's size and complexity makes the challenge daunting and measures taken so far have not approached the heart of the problem. A 35-point plan unveiled by the State Council appears more promising, the proposals outlined offering a blueprint for tackling inequality.

18 Feb 2013 - 1:55am 1 comment

Concrete steps needed on income reform in China, say analysts

Beijing hopes to raise wages and cut taxes for the poor.

The State Council has approved guidelines submitted jointly by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, after earlier proposals were repeatedly amended in the past eight years.

7 Feb 2013 - 5:50am

Mainland leaders face rough road to reforms

The central government has issued guidelines on the long-awaited income distribution reform in a bid to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. Photo: AFP

The State Council on Tuesday issued guidelines on the long-awaited income distribution reform, vowing to increase minimum wages, limit the incomes of senior managers in state-owned enterprises and "enhance income adjustment by taxation".

7 Feb 2013 - 5:16am

Property and class

Could the relentless rise in real estate prices push the middle class to extinction as only the really wealthy can afford property? That’s one of the many questions facing Hong Kong and one posed by the recent New York Times piece on property and class in the city. 

24 Jan 2013 - 8:47am 1 comment