Sunday, September 29, 2013

The setting of the Poverty Line shows Hong Kong’s determination of tackling the poverty problem

Mr C Y Leung
Said Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, while chairing the first Commission on Poverty (CoP) Summit on September 28, 2013. Setting a poverty line has been one of the priorities of the CoP. After ten months of consultations and analysis the CoP eventually agreed to adopt the concept of relative poverty and set the poverty line at 50 per cent of the median monthly household income before tax and welfare transfers (i.e. pre-government intervention). 

The poverty line for 2012 in accordance with household size is as follows :

One-person households                                   $3,600
Two-person households                                   $7,700
Three-person households                              $11,500
Four-person households                                $14,300
Five-person households                                 $14,800
Households with six persons or more           $15,800

The analysis of the poverty situation in Hong Kong in 2012 showed that before policy intervention, there were 541 000 poor households, involving 1 312 000 persons, and the poverty rate was 19.6 per cent. The administration has worked out various policy interventions such as Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), the Old Age Allowance and financial assistance for students which can effectively alleviate poverty, bringing down the number of households in poverty to 403 000 and involving 1 018 000 persons, resulting in a poverty rate of 15.2 per cent. 
The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, chaired the
Commission on Poverty Summit to discuss the
poverty situation in Hong Kong and the way forward.
Photo shows Mr Leung addressing the summit. 
(September 28)

The Societal Engagement Task Force (SETF), set up by the administration, has launched a three-year poverty alleviation program. Three projects have been identified by the SETF which will start rolling out towards the end of 2013 or in early 2014. The SETF is expecting to receive financial contributions from chambers of commerce and other bodies by establishing a tripartite partnership among the community, the business sector and the Government.

The Chief Executive has set up CoP to serve as the major policy platform for the Government's work in poverty alleviation. It will take into account the needs of poor households and public views to explore appropriate measures and initiatives to help the needy.

A detailed presentation on "Analysis of the Poverty Situation" during the Summit can be found here.

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