Dr Raymond Man-hung Ngan, Associate Professor with the Department of Applied Social Studies of City University of Hong Kong, lectured on the relative poverty in Hong Kong and its implications to social assistance in Chinese cities, on 4 December.

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“Nowadays, absolute poverty seldom occurs in Hong Kong. However, we cannot ignore the growing relative poverty. The relative poverty line aims at providing data support for the government to enact policies to help people in need,” Dr Ngan elaborated the concept of relative poverty line. “The Gini coefficient – a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation's residents – and the number of working poor have been increasing in Hong Kong in recent years.”

“On the other hand, Hong Kong has established a social security system to deal with urban poverty. It includes the labor insurance system, the basic living allowance for laid-off workers, and the scheme to support urban poor.”

He also suggested solutions for the government to aid households under the relative poverty line, such as financial support or employment policies.

“Young people can hire themselves out, start their own business or enter a social enterprise such as an NGO. A good entrepreneurship needs three to four years to gain a foothold among the intense competition.”

Reporter: Liu Yiyu
Photographer: Vivi Xie
Editor: Deen He
(from MPRO, with special thanks to the ELC)