06/19/2007, 00.00
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The government confirms Card Zen’s concerns

A report on average income presented by the Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department shows that since reunification with China the amount of people earning 400 euros or less per month has increased by 80 thousand. Two days ago Card. Zen had invited Catholics to help the poor.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The poverty alarm launched two days ago by Cardinal Joseph Joseph Zen Ze-kiun was confirmed today by government data on the growing gap between rich and poor in the territory, evidence of an imbalance in economic growth in Hong Kong in the tens years since its reunification with China.

During a meeting of the Bishop’s conference Commission for Justice and Peace on June 17th, Card Zen underlined that after the return of Hong Kong to the motherland the plight of the poor and disadvantaged had not improved, but had actually worsened.  The prelate invited Catholics to help the poor, as Jesus teaches us.

This cry of alarm has been confirmed by official numbers: according to the report issued by Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department, in the last ten years the amount of people earning 400 euros or less per month has increased by 80 thousand.  

Given the increase in the number of rich, the Gini coefficient (the value which measures the imbalance between rich and poor, where 0 is absolute parity and 1total disparity) now stands at 0.583, defined as being “worrying”.

Wong Hung, assistant professor in the Chinese University's social work department says “the government should be careful in dealing with this. If they fail to adopt useful policies then the social balance is at risk”.


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