HK still has a lot of people living below the poverty line - but that figure is dropping

HK still has a lot of people living below the poverty line - but that figure is dropping

Official figures from the Commission on Poverty Summit on Saturday show that the number of poor people in Hong Kong has dropped to 962,000

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An old man collects rubbish in Sham Shui Po, one of Hong Kong's poorest districts.
Photo: SCMP

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Secretary and the Chairperson of the Commission on Poverty, announced the findings of the third poverty report at the annual Commission on Poverty Summit on Saturday, revealing a slight drop in the number of people living below the official poverty line.

The total number of poor people in the city was more than 1.3 million in 2014. Government cash intervention, including the old age living allowance - a HK$2,200 monthly handout to needy people who pass a means test - had improved the situation. The number of poor people dropped to 962,000, roughly 15 per cent of the population.

Sham Shui Po is the poorest district, with a poverty rate of 18.2 per cent, followed by Kwai Tsing (16.9 per cent) and Kwun Tong (16.7 per cent).

The summit also discussed youth upward mobility. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service's Social Development Index says about 25.5 per cent of those aged 15-19 are from low-income households. Guest speaker David Johnston, commissioner of Britain's Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, said attention should be paid to underprivileged young people.

Johnston added that Hong Kong had high living costs and the issue was whether work paid enough to cover living expenses.

 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Drop in the number of people living in poverty

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