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The gap between rich and poor in Hong Kong has increased by more than 47 times under the pandemic

Published by Oxfam on 5 OctoberHong KongPoverty report shows that Hong Kong’sEpidemicThe gap between rich and poor has increased by more than 47 times, and the gap between rich and poor in Hong Kong has become more severe under the pandemic.

According to Hong Kong’s China News Agency, Oxfam divided the average monthly household income into 10 grades based on data from Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department from 2019 to 2021 and the first quarter of this year. The analysis found that the gap between the poorest and the richest household monthly income increased from 34.3 times before the new Crown pandemic to 47.3 times in the first quarter of this year, reflecting the growing disparity between the rich and the poor under the pandemic .

The unemployment rate for the poor in Hong Kong reached 26.1% in the first quarter of this year, eight times higher than that of the non-poor, the report said. More than 60% of the poor and unemployed are above 40 years of age. Sixty percent of the poor have been unemployed for more than two months, and a quarter of the poor have been unemployed for more than half a year. Retail, housing and food services, and low-skilled jobs are hardest hit by unemployment.

The study analyzed data from the Hong Kong government’s Census and Statistics Department from 2019 to 2021 and the first quarter of this year, dividing the average monthly household income into 10 equal parts, with the first tier being the poorest, and the tenth tier Among the richest of them, the income of the poor group fell more severely. The poorest 10% of households had an income of HK$2,700 in the first quarter of this year, about 22% less than the HK$3,500 before the outbreak; The second and third tiers have also declined by about ten percent. The average monthly income of households in the seventh to tenth level increased, with the wealthiest 10% of households earning a monthly income of HK$127,000 in the first quarter of this year, a 6.3% increase from HK$120,000 in 2019.

In terms of working hours, 77 per cent of the poor work less than 20 hours per week in the first quarter of this year, compared to 59% in 2020, reflecting the fact that grassroots workersemploymentThe problem of scarcity gets worse.

The economically inactive poor population also grew sharply, reaching 1.09 million in the first quarter of this year, a 3.2% increase from 2020. Among them, 466,000 are elderly people aged 65 or over, a sharp increase of 15.2 percent over the previous year, which also means that one in two elderly people who do not have jobs are in poverty. On the other hand, labor participation of poor women continues to decline due to severe lack of childcare facilities, and about 80% of them are unable to go to work to help their families.

That’s why Oxfam makes a number of recommendations. First, it is suggested that the Hong Kong government extend the “Temporary Unemployment Assistance” program until the end of the year, so that those who are still unemployed can apply for support. In addition, the relaxation of minimum working hours for working family allowance has been extended due to the pandemic, and the minimum working hours requirement has been raised to 36 hours, so that workers engaged in casual and temporary workers also get benefits. Can you ,

Oxfam called on the Hong Kong government to raise the minimum wage to $45.4 an hour, implement annual inspections and extend the temporary unemployment assistance program through the end of the year.

China

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