Talking points: What are your thoughts on increasing the minimum wage from HK$30 to HK$32.50?

Talking points: What are your thoughts on increasing the minimum wage from HK$30 to HK$32.50?

Hate it when you can't talk back? Well, you can withYoung Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

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Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions requests the Minimum Wage Council to set the minimum wage on the level of $33 per hour in 2010.
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions requests the Minimum Wage Council to set the minimum wage on the level of $33 per hour in 2010.
Photo: Oliver Tsang/SCMP

Karen Lai Pei-hei, 16, Tak Nga Secondary School

I think increasing the minimum wage will lead to inflation. People might be earning a little more money but the cost of living, especially rent and food, is going up so quickly that I don't think their quality of life will get better even with a wage increase. In fact, the quality of life for people on minimum wage might actually be worse because of high inflation.


Mukhjot Kaur, 15, St Margaret's Girls' College, Hong Kong

The increase in the minimum wage will not make much of a difference to people's lifestyle. Hong Kong has high living standards. So a hike in the minimum wage will be followed by price rises, or new policies will be introduced, like the 50-cent charge for plastic shopping bags. It is a vicious cycle so it's the poor who will continue to suffer.


Carrie Hui Wai-ying, 16, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

The increase in minimum wage, although very small, will definitely be a good thing. The wealth gap in Hong Kong is very big. The poor certainly need more money to lead a decent life. I worked as a waitress on minimum wage last summer, so I understand how hard it is for workers to make ends meet. What I earned was a kind of "pocket money", but for those who have a family to provide for, it is barely enough. I think the rise will benefit low-income families.


Roy Ng Mau-hei, 15, The YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College

The main purpose of having a minimum wage is to help the poor have a better life. Will this small increase bring any substantial changes to their lives? Obviously not.

Research by the Census and Statistics Department in April showed that the customer price index has increased by 4 per cent. Just imagine: a low-skilled worker who works eight hours a day will only get HK$20 more with the new minimum wage. It won't even cover the cost of a good meal after a hard day's work.

The Hong Kong government should bring the minimum wage in line with the inflation rate.


Joy Pamnani, 16, PLK Ngan Po Ling College

I don't think it will make a big difference. The real problem lies in income inequality, and the government should work towards reducing the rich-poor gap rather than just setting a minimum wage for workers.


Tell us what do you think of the increase of minimum wage in the comment box below.

In our next Talking Points, we'll discuss:

Do you think government officials taking bus tours to promote political reform will make a difference?

We are now accepting answers from readers for this new topic. To take part, e-mail your answer with your name, age and school, plus a high-res photo of yourself (no less than 1MB), to yp@scmp.com by Monday lunchtime next week.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
What are your thoughts on increasing the minimum wage from HK$30 to HK$32.50?

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