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Not any city in the world is as satrical and contrary as Hk. This metropolis has not the particular 6th top per household GDP, although also the very best Gini agent in the world (World Bank, 2011). Fortunately, the Hong Kong govt isn’t turning a blind eye toward this issue but are instead actively looking for a trade-off between economic performance and social welfare.
A single notable case is the re-establishment of the Commission on Poverty, it is expected that a clearly-defined poverty collection will shed a new mild into the low income situation in Hong Kong.
Another policy lately is the implementation of minimal wage regulation, which has been in place for two years aiming to assurance a basic salary for low-income workers, on the other hand its influence on overall career level in Hong Kong remains to be to be established. In this composition, I will 1st examine the general trend and size of lower income in Hk, then begin assess the performance of the present social home security alarm, as well as the minimum wage in eradicating lower income in Hk. Poverty, is an unclear term especially in Hong Kong.
The United Nations areas the benchmark for lower income as living under a month to month income lower than or equal to half of the typical household profits of equivalent size people. This is the classification that the Commission rate on Poverty is likely to take up. But before the launch of official low income line individuals are considered poor only if that they apply for Complete Social Reliability Assistance (CSSA), which membership and enrollment is largely determined by nominal profits. As a result, the amount of people trying to get CSSA decreased after bare minimum wage rules has been made.
In this composition therefore , I will adopt the UN meaning of poverty in examining the trend and size in Hong Kong. Lower income rate up to the year 2011 was the cheapest since that of 2001. Just before 2011, right now there had been a general increasing trend in the number of homes living in low income as well as the poverty rate. With this sense, 2011 can be seen as a watershed yr, the lower income rate dropped to 17. 1% in comparison with 17. 9% in the previous yr, which supposed a reduction of 55000 people suffering from lower income.
Additionally , the overall number of poor households have been rising from 2001 to 2007, although this tendency started to drop from then on. The whole number of poor households in 2011 was 444, 000, when compared with that of the years 2007 and 2010, there had been a discount of 10, 000 and 7000 homeowners respectively. Regardless of the weak poverty craze and size, income disparity in Hong Kong has been deteriorating. In the year 2001, the typical monthly income of high-income group was $31, 1000 while that of low-income group was $10, 000, which usually meant that the previous was 3. 1 instances that of the latter.
However , this disparity extended to increase and in 2011, the typical monthly cash flow of the high-income group improved to $35, 000, while that of the low-income group plunged to $9000, which will meant that the high-income group had a regular monthly income a few. 5 times more than this of the low-income group. Technically, it is indisputable that the declining trend and size of poverty has been promising, but that was mainly due to the growing economy rather than governmental work, at the same time, the income difference has been extending despite the rendering of minimum wage regulation.
These stats all suggest that the current social procedures are limited in reducing the imminent menace of poverty. The interpersonal security system in Hong Kong can be described as three-tier system consisting of sociable assistance and social allocated in the form of Thorough Social Security Assistance and Old Age Permitting, mandated occupational pension in the form of Mandatory Prepared Fund as well as private keeping. In the staying part of the essay, the effectiveness of the above mentioned social protection policies in lifting lower income will be evaluated one by one.
The great Social Reliability Assistance was renamed following the Public Assistance Scheme in 1993 has got the sole goal to provide “a safety net for many who cannot support themselves fiscally. It is designed to bring their very own income up to a prescribed level to meet all their basic demands. (Social Welfare Division, 2012) It is just a non-contributory and means-tested structure financed totally by the federal government. CSSA repayments can be generally classified in to three classes: standard price, supplements and special funds.
Standard Costs from 2012 is split up into 5 types: elderly person aged more than 60 or above, ill health mature under 70, disabled kid, able-bodied adult aged below 60 and able-bodied kid. The amount of regular rates payable to each type differs, but they are under the same guiding guidelines, the standard costs for children and seniors are higher than the ones from the adults, rates pertaining to single persons living by itself are more than those of members of the family, and prices will increase with levels of seriousness of disability. Tsoi, 2002) Additionally , you will find five types of nutritional supplements. Long-term product is a payment to recipients who have been receiving assistance for at least a year for the replacement of household and durable goods. Single father or mother supplement can be described as monthly payment to single mother or father families with special problems in talking about their families. Community living product is a monthly payment to outdated, disabled and certified ill-health CSSA receivers living in the community instead of any institutions.
Transfer supplement should promote cultural integration and geographical freedom by providing regular monthly assistance to qualified 100% disabled as well as populace between 12 to sixty four years of age. Lastly, the goal of the residential care supplement is to ease the hotel burdens of old, handicapped and accredited ill-health CSSA applicants who also are not surviving in subsidised housing estates. Besides, a range of special grants are also set up to meet applicants’ special demands including university fees, school-related expenses, essential traveling expenses and so on.
You read ‘Critically Examine the Trend and Size of Poverty in Hong Kong’ in category ‘Essay examples’
Famous British philosopher Midgley once left a comment that redistributing wealth by means of social assistance has the “most direct potential impact on the poverty issue. The lady identified 3 necessary conditions in order to fully realize this kind of potential, 1st, social assistance must be economical by modern taxation, second, the level of benefit provided should be sufficient to boost recipients away of low income and third, needy people must have comfortable access to sociable assistance strategies and that these kinds of schemes will not deter all of them from applying for help. Tsoi, 2002). With applies the above mentioned three guidelines to Hk, it is deserving to highlight that Hong Kong only fulfilled the first state out of the 3. In the following paragraphs, the reduced effectiveness in the CSSA will probably be discussed regarding its level of benefits, technique of application and incentives for its recipients to reintegrate into the job market. The degree of benefits by the standard prices of the CSSA cannot reflect the actual needs of its recipients, but are in fact collection arbitrarily. In the oment, the typical rates of CSSA people are analyzed and modified annually by Legislative Authorities to reveal the changes in cost Level by the Census and Statistics Department. The Intake Price Index however , is a reference to the family unit expenditure with the 25% from the population with all the lowest salary. It is very dubious whether or not the household bills of the poor households will be an authentic indicator and match what they actually need to support their particular daily living. Additionally , some CSSA recipients described the process of app as humiliating and overwhelming.
According to a joint job by the Department of Used Social Sciences in Polytechnic University and Oxfam Hk on Belief and Using the CSSA in 2007, it was found that a few recipients sensed that all their applications had been always delayed and mishandled. Some candidates even offender the interpersonal security officials as having bad manners and lack empathy. These types of findings had been found out following in-depth selection interviews and group discussion, even though it is sketchy as to the representativeness of the test size, the critique for the “humiliating app procedures must point to a few bearing of truth that the CSSA people feel.
Besides, some social workers inside the study also complained that “some representatives tend to insult and threaten the job seekers by making irrational requests. Going back to Midgley’s third symptom in order to get rid of poverty which concerns the access to cultural security must not deter the needy from applying, the Social Services Department may clearly do a better task. Furthermore, you can an unsaid concern that receiving CSSA would inspire a “dependency culture, particularly when the CSSA mechanisms will not encourage able-bodied recipients to attain economic freedom.
Contrary to common misconception that just able-bodied lazy people and new immigrants would apply for CSSA, most CSSA people, amounting to 60% (Oxfam, 2007) deal with social protection as the past resort to minimize their terrible financial circumstances. Yet , due to an absence of support companies, only 8%-10% of able-bodied CSSA receivers are able to re-enter the competitive job market (Ming Pao Daily News, 2000) through the Unique Job Add-on Programme. In addition , the additional cost for looking to re-enter the job market may possibly ut an additional toll for the families acquiring CSSA, not to say some solitary parent’s family members with not enough child-care features may choose to continue receiving welfare instead of operating. In short, CSSA do not provide sufficient motivation for its recipients to re-join the work power, which is the only method to escape lower income. Another element of the cultural security system in Hong Kong is mandated occupational pension, which is in the form of Required Provident Fund in Hk. It is a compulsory, occupation-related plan with defined monthly contribution by equally employers and employees.
The Mandatory Provident Pay for Schemes Ordinance was exceeded in 2000 with the hope of strengthening the protection net and retirement safety. Contribution towards the MPF is definitely mandated to become 10% in the employee’s income with which five per cent is added by his/her employer. Besides, the mandatory contribution is adjusted with relevance to employees’ income. After the implementation of minimum income, the monthly relevant income is readjusted, for employees with monthly profits less than $6500, only their very own employers will be mandated to contribute five per cent of relevant salary, this turns into the minimum contribution.
Alternatively, for employees with income above $25000, equally employers and employees are required to contribute $1250, this becomes the maximum contribution. All MPF contributions will be injected into registered MPF trustee available in the market chosen by employers, nevertheless, employees should be able to choose fresh MPF plan annually based on their efficiency. In the following paragraphs, the limitations of the MPF scheme will be discussed which includes its limited coverage and inadequate retirement living protection which in turn undoubtedly hinder its performance.
As above mentioned, MPF is definitely an employment-related protection plan, which means that simply people with long lasting employment contract will receive old age protection. The MPF just have limited protection and do not include universal security as people excluded from your workforce like the sick, the disabled, housewives, hawkers, domestic employees etc are unprotected, this add up to quite a large portion inside the population. Besides, the employers might make an effort to evade in the mandated contributions by altering the terms of employment contract.
Companies are bound legally to contribute to MPF for his or her employees if they are employed for much more than 60 days, therefore , some employers may intentionally change the career contract to 59 times or end the agreement and re-employ the employees. Basically, the MPF scheme does not provided for general protection or in other words that a significant portion of the population is still left unprotected, let alone some canny employers make an effort to alter the work contract to avoid contributing to their particular employees’ retirement living protection system.
Furthermore, the predicament in the MPF Plan is that irrespective of its target is to give retirement security and strengthen the safety net, the protection is in fact definately not sufficient. MPF is a define-contribution scheme but it is not only a defined-benefits structure, which resulted in employees’ contribution is contingent upon many factors including the duration of contribution, earnings from investments by the wholesale real estate flipper after deducing the high administrative and transaction costs incurred, in addition to the amount of contribution.
This kind of led to the inevitable unpredictability of benefits which can be neither guaranteed by the wholesale real estate flipper nor guarded by the federal government. Besides, the scheme was introduced simply in 2k, which resulted in people about retirement age in those days would obtain either minimum protection in any way due to the brief contribution period. At the moment, aged poverty was one of the severest forms of low income in Hong Kong. In short, contrary to its primary intention, the MPF will not guarantee old age protection, instead only added more questions and unpredictability to lives after retirement.
The lawful minimum wage was handed in 2010 and fully implemented Labour Working day of 2011. It is aimed at “striking a suitable balance between forestalling exceedingly low wages and minimising the loss of low-paid jobs when sustaining Hong Kong’s economical growth and competitiveness (Labour Department, 2011). The initial bare minimum wage rate was established at $28, but the commission set up by government to examine the lowest wage charge biannually provides agreed to boost to $30 an hour. Via a theoretical standpoint, setting up a wage ground would annoyed the balance of the labour marketplace by forcing some low skill staff to be let go.
Nevertheless, the federal government estimated that 273800 grassroot workers could benefit from the regulation and could preserve a basic degree of living simply by avoiding from being underpaid. After regarding two years considering that the law has passed, however , it appears that reports about employers looking to cut the fringe benefits of personnel were not uncommon and the genuine effect and repercussion of minimum wage on the work market is however to be unravelled. In the next essay, I will examine the implementation of minimum income law with regard to its success in eradicating poverty in Hong Kong.
In order to assess the performance of minimum wage, the first indicator is within monthly cash flow of the low income groups when compared with higher profits groups inside the lower half year of 2011. If we divide the full population evenly into ten decile organizations with the first decile group being the poorest 10% of the persons and the tenth decile group being the wealthiest 10%, it was located that in the first 3 decile groups all experience increase in regular monthly income including 6. 9% to 9. 3%, as the last 3 decile groups experience possibly no modify or bad growth in their monthly cash flow (HKCSS, 2011).
However , taking a look at income alone would not be a comprehensive examination of the a result of minimum salary law given that the financial began to growth around the period minimum wage was applied. Therefore , an infinitely more reliable evaluation would be to assess the living standards of low income households before and after the lowest wage arrived to force. Research commissioned by simply Oxfam Hk adopted a two-stage stratified surveys that interview indigent households with at least one relative receiving minimal wage and compare all their livelihood via March 2011 to January 2012.
In the following paragraphs, findings from this study will probably be further analysed. In terms of regular monthly income, the minimum wage law features indeed increase the nominal household income. Regarding 70% of interviewees, symbolizing 131125 households reported a rise in household income after the advantages of minimum wage. Additionally, 72. 6% of them likewise reported a rise in individual workers’ income. In spite of a rise in monthly profits and in truth, hourly salary as well, operating hours of workers lowered.
The average per hour wage of respondents whom stayed inside the same task before and after setup of lowest wage improved, 56. 8% of them actually receive a great hourly income that exceeded $28. Yet , the same group who stay in the same job also knowledge an average cut of about 13. 9 operating hours. This kind of reduction of working hour is more typically than not really, at the price of the workers’ benefit including cancelling paid out lunch hour or perhaps meal break and no overtime, however, payment and so on. 46. % of participants complained the fact that previously paid out rest days and nights were terminated since the adjustment of minimal wage rules. Taking into account from the loss of paid out rest times as well as other perimeter benefits, in conjunction with the decrease in working hours, over half of the respondents, fifty-five. 8% of those experienced a drop in individual cash flow despite the apparent increase in nominal monthly income. In the paragraph above regarding CSSA recipients, it was quickly mentioned that they can treat interpersonal assistance his or her last resort to mitigate all their financial situation.
In fact , most of them experienced “perceivable prejudice against them. The introduction of lowest wage includes a wide program, but it affects most significantly low-income jobs that CSSA people crave. About 50 % of the respondents receiving CSSA in the Oxfam study affirm the effectiveness of income floor while an impetus to quit getting social assistance. This basically, could treat the need of CSSA recipients to self-reliance and eliminate the stigmatization or packaging that they feel attached to these people by re-entering the job marketplace.
Nonetheless, increase in income to some extent does not mean or perhaps signify low income alleviation. The most pivotal getting in the Oxfam study is that it shows 40. 5% of homes still reside in deprivation despite the minimum income law. This is due to they specify “deprivation since the inabilities to afford for least 3 items that are dubbed important by the majority of Hong Kong citizens including dental care check-ups, enjoyment activities, find the money for to go to non-public clinics when sick and tea house and so on.
In respect to Townsend (1979), “a person is considered in lower income if he or she would not have enough methods to enable him or her to take part in normal actions commonly employed by normal members in the community and therefore cannot become totally integrated into the mainstream of society. Therefore , the moment 40. five per cent of respondents, representing 531354 households remain deprived of any chance to interact in cultural activities basically due to the fact that they still could not afford the products they need highlighted just how unproductive minimum income legislation has been in eradicating low income.
In conclusion, working out with people away of low income is a difficult problem that can not end up being solved by simply any cultural policy alone, let alone the countless flaws and limitations which might be embedded in social procedures. However , it is only through figuring out the imperfection in interpersonal welfare policies could we make improvement on them and hopefully achieve the final target of eliminating poverty towards the end. Reference list: Hk Council of Social Service, The Statistic review of the lower Income Home in Hk, 2011. t. hkcss. org. hk/index_e. or net Labour Department (2011). Statutory Minimum Wage: Reference Recommendations for Employers and Employees. Legislative Council (2012). After and before the Lawful Minimum Salary Ordinance in Hong Kong: Survey of Low-income workers and the Families. Oxfam Hong Kong and Centre intended for Social Policy Studies, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2007). Perception and Utilization of CSSA: a Study within the Views of the Public as well as the Lower Income people.
Social Well being Department (2012), Comprehensive Cultural Assistance System, retrieved coming from: http://www. swd. gov. hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_socsecu/sub_comprehens/ Tsoi Kcon-wah, “Poverty Removal and Sociable Security in Hong kong, in Advances in Social welfare in Hong Kong, male impotence., ) by D. To. L. Shek, 2002, Part 9. Universe Bank (2011), Gini Index, retrieved from: http://data. worldbank. org/indicator/SI. POV. GINI
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