HK’s wealth gap grows

Hong Kong, June 18:

Hong Kong’s wealth gap has widened in the decade since the handover, showed the official figures.

Nearly one in ten households had a monthly income of less than 4,000 Hong Kong dollars ($510 ) last year, according to a new government report. This was up from less than seven per cent in 1996, the year before Britain ceded sovereignty over the territory to China.

The proportion of high-income households also increased. Last year, 17 per cent of households earned at least 40,000 Hong Kong dollars a month, up from 15 per cent in 1996.

The report stated this was mainly down to the growth in dual-income households and education improvements, while the rise in low-income households could be attributed to Hong Kong’s ageing population.

Fung Hing-wang, commissioner for census and statistics, said the trend was similiar to those seen in the UK and Canada. “Hong Kong is an open, city economy with a stro-ng agglomeration of service sector activities which are highly developed and well diversified, employing workers with multifarious experience and skills.”