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Poverty

Big business in Hong Kong must not be allowed to profit at the expense of poor people’s health

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 August, 2018, 1:04am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2018, 1:03am

I refer to the article on how prices of everyday necessities in Tin Shui Wai, one of Hong Kong’s poorest districts, were found to be 20 per cent higher than in downtown Wan Chai (“Hong Kong’s poor forced to eat food only fit ‘for pigs and dogs’ as city’s money-hungry companies exploit need for basic items”, August 3).

I can’t imagine how prices for daily necessities in Tin Shui Wai can be so much higher than in the centre of urban Hong Kong. Imagine the burden it poses on the low-income population of the impoverished district.

I am really disappointed with the companies which are exploiting the basic needs of less-well-off families. Prices are so exorbitant that poorer Hongkongers knowingly buy inferior food that may contain carcinogens. All because they have “no choice”.

I applaud the Agent for Change social enterprise for partnering with more than 300 district councillors and NGOs, as well as food producers and manufacturers, to sell affordable necessities to public estate residents.

However, the government should also do more to combat poverty and the exploitation of vulnerable people in society, and the restrictive, monopolistic practices that keep the prices of necessities high. The markets are monopolised by big companies. Big business cannot continue to profit at the expense of people’s health and quality of life.

Chow Sin Ying, Ma Wan