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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Many youngsters think they're poor

Many youngsters think they're poor

Two-fifths of youngsters describe themselves as living in poverty, a Lingnan University survey has found.
The study surveyed 417 youngsters and conducted two rounds of in-depth interviews with 67 people aged between 18 and 29 who earned below HK$20,000 a month, between May and December last year.

About 40 percent of youngsters from the second round viewed themselves as being "poor."

The minimum wage will be raised to HK$40 per hour from May 1 but most respondents consider that to be too low and does not reflect the labor market.

They felt that a reasonable minimum wage should be "enough for a meal" - or HK$71.60 - considering that the average monthly living expense of young people is HK$14,894 after deducting education costs.

Pun Ngai, head of the university's department of cultural studies, said the HK$40 minimum wage would still be too low.

"What an irony that earning the minimum wage is not enough to live on," Pun said. "Since the government has formulated a blueprint for youth development, assisting them in overcoming hurdles in employment, education, entrepreneurship and home ownership, authorities should review the minimum wage."

Leung Shi-chi, assistant professor of the department, said the minimum wage should at least be raised to match the average price of a dish - about HK$60.

"The number of the working poor has soared by more than 100,000 in the past 10 years since the implementation of the minimum wage," Leung said. "The minimum wage is out of touch with real life."
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