daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Asian Forums > Asian Skyscraper Forums > East Asia > Hong Kong (香港) & Macau (澳門) Forums > Infrastructure & Transportation



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old March 13th, 2006, 06:59 AM   #1
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 75,677
Likes (Received): 6891

Subsidizing Low Income Commuters

Union makes cash plea for commuters
Mimi Lau
Hong Kong Standard
Monday, March 13, 2006

A unionist lawmaker has called on the government to provide a monthly HK$500 subsidy to low-income earners living in remote districts such as Tin Shui Wai and Tuen Mun.

Citing new research, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions general secretary Lee Cheuk-yan said Sunday 90 percent of Tin Shui Wai residents work outside the district and more than half of them spend a tenth of their income on transport.

Lee said residents in distant areas like Tin Shui Wai are vulnerable to employers due to high transport costs and few jobs on offer.

It was the second time in five days that Financial Secretary Henry Tang - who is also chairman of the government's Commission on Poverty - came under fire for not providing transport subsidies to low-income earners living in distant areas.

The HKCTU polled 814 Tin Shui Wai residents and found only 75 percent had jobs. The implied unemployment rate of 25 percent far exceeds the government's official rate for Hong Kong of 5.3 percent.

Of those in work, 90 percent, or 550 people, work outside the area. Nearly 35 percent earn less than HK$6,000 a month and about 56 percent spend a tenth of their income on transport.

High transport costs are exacerbating high unemployment, Lee said. Wages are suppressed because local residents are competing for too few jobs. But many are reluctant to seek jobs because they cannot afford to commute - 30 percent of the jobless calculate that travel expenses offset the effort of looking for work. Another 28 percent said they simply cannot find work.

Linda Chan, who is in her 30s with a Form 6 education, can earn only HK$4,000 a month as a full-time sales clerk working a six-day week.

"Employers offer such little salary knowing residents here don't have many choices," Lee said.

A single journey rail fare from Tin Shui Wai to Kowloon costs from HK$21.50 to HK$24.50. A one-way trip to Hong Kong Island is HK$30.

A round trip costs between HK$50 and HK$60 a day - or HK$1,200 to HK$1,440 a month. A bus to Kowloon costs HK$16.50 a trip, while it is more than HK$20 to Hong Kong Island.

Tang announced last Wednesday that transport subsidies of HK$2.7 million will be allotted in April in the form of interest-free loans or allowances to at least 1,500 people aged 30 or above looking for work. However, the subsidy is available only to nonsocial security recipients who are graduates from Employees Retraining Board scheme programs who live in North, Yuen Long and Island districts.

The government estimates no more than 6,700 will benefit from the move.

However, the population of Tin Shui Wai is 280,000 and rising.

"Tang should really be ashamed of himself," Lee said. "Even a community organization can apply for funding up to HK$100 million."

Tin Shui Wai, one of Hong Kong's more recent new towns, has gained notoriety for high rates of poverty, domestic violence and child abuse.

Citing a Legislative Council paper, Lee said there are 54,800 low-income earners living in Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, North and Islands district.

He proposes the government provide the monthly HK$500 subsidy to low-income earners, which is about HK$279 million per year of expenditure. If not, Lee said he will not endorse Tang's budget at the end of this month.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
 
Old March 13th, 2006, 07:33 AM   #2
DasAutoKerl
I miss HK :(
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 50
Likes (Received): 0

Wow, HK$1,400? That's like 180 USD. I have to drive at least 30 miles per day for work/school and it costs me like 140USD (about 1,100 HKD) and that's with private transportation in my own car. Why is it so expensive for public transportation there? How far do they have to travel? I must have missed it...
__________________
Matt
DasAutoKerl no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2006, 08:03 AM   #3
hkth
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,458
Likes (Received): 23

Quote:
Originally Posted by DasAutoKerl
Wow, HK$1,400? That's like 180 USD. I have to drive at least 30 miles per day for work/school and it costs me like 140USD (about 1,100 HKD) and that's with private transportation in my own car. Why is it so expensive for public transportation there? How far do they have to travel? I must have missed it...
It is because ALL public transportation in HK are run by PRIVATE COMPANIES or Corporations!!! The HK Gov't doesn't regulate that a lot.
hkth no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2006, 01:04 AM   #4
DasAutoKerl
I miss HK :(
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 50
Likes (Received): 0

Well that reminds me. I guess if you factor in the fact that we get taxed big time for highways, etc. the difference gap might shrink some...
__________________
Matt
DasAutoKerl no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2006, 02:22 AM   #5
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 75,677
Likes (Received): 6891

Actually, HK$1800 is unrealistically high for a per month travel expense. For residents in the northwestern suburbs, the most expensive train ride on the KCR West Rail will be $14.4 :

KCR Nam Cheong - Tuen Mun $14.4
MTR Nam Cheong - Central $10
Total $24.4 = US$3.14
Weekly Cost = US$31.4
Monthly Cost = US$126.6 (HK$982)

Gas in HK costs about twice as much as in the US. Driving is simply not an option.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2006, 04:39 AM   #6
rt_0891
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Toronto, Hong Kong, Vancouver
Posts: 2,695
Likes (Received): 27

Transportation costs are high in HK. You'd be surprised how fast $500 gets used up on your Octopus Card.
rt_0891 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2006, 05:52 AM   #7
spicytimothy
...::HK.:.:.:.LA::...
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hong Kong / Los Angeles
Posts: 1,525
Likes (Received): 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Actually, HK$1800 is unrealistically high for a per month travel expense. For residents in the northwestern suburbs, the most expensive train ride on the KCR West Rail will be $14.4 :

KCR Nam Cheong - Tuen Mun $14.4
MTR Nam Cheong - Central $10
Total $24.4 = US$3.14
Weekly Cost = US$31.4
Monthly Cost = US$126.6 (HK$982)

Gas in HK costs about twice as much as in the US. Driving is simply not an option.
To make this comparison more understandable we must compare the distance and speed as well...

1. how far are Tuen Mun/Yuen Long, the farthest urban areas of HK, away from downtown Central?

2. how long does it take to travel this far?
__________________
"Image Is Just Your Imagination. Reality Is Rarely Revealed."
spicytimothy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #8
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 75,677
Likes (Received): 6891

By KCR West Rail, the journey takes about 40 minutes while the MTR ride on the Tung Chung line to Central takes about 10 minutes. Hence the commute should take about an hour, which should be faster than the bus.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old March 15th, 2006, 04:47 AM   #9
DasAutoKerl
I miss HK :(
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 50
Likes (Received): 0

Even if gas were cheaper, would driving be feasible? For some it could probably take longer than public transportation. Not to mention if there were a major influx of drivers, the streets probably couldn't handle them all? Even here in the US there are issues...

Public transportation, which here in the states isn't that great, does seem much, much more appealing and beneficial (be it in terms of time savings, economics, or even enviroment).
__________________
Matt
DasAutoKerl no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #10
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 75,677
Likes (Received): 6891

LCQ16: Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (February 22):

Question :

The Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme (WITSS) has been accepting applications since October last year. The Government originally estimated that about 436 000 people would meet the eligibility criteria and assumed that half of them (ie 218 000 people) would apply for the subsidy. The Government sought funding at an amount of $4,805 million in respect of WITSS, and would employ 200 additional staff. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of applicants and the total amount of subsidy disbursed under WITSS so far, with a breakdown of the respective numbers of persons receiving subsidy at full rate (ie $600 per month) and half rate (ie $300 per month) by District Council districts; among these applicants, of the number of those who had submitted applications under the pilot Transport Support Scheme (TSS) which was introduced in 2007, and the percentage of such number in the total number of TSS applicants; further, of the number of additional staff employed and the administration cost involved in respect of WITSS so far;

(b) as it has been reported that there were only 22 000 WITSS applications as at the middle of last month, which were far fewer than the Government's original estimation, whether the authorities have looked into and assessed the reasons for that, and whether they include factors such as the income thresholds being too low, the requirement of the household-based means test on applicants, the cumbersome application procedures and the lack of publicity, etc; how the authorities deal with expenses and manpower so wasted due to the wrong estimation of the number of applicants; whether they will formulate measures shortly to improve the situation that the number of applications is too low; if not, of the reasons for that;

(c) whether the authorities have received any enquiry or complaint from TSS recipients about the implementation of WITSS; if they have, of the number of enquiries or complaints received so far and their contents; of the means (including exercising discretion power, etc) to assist those low-income earners who are not able to obtain the subsidy as the means test under WITSS is conducted on household basis; and

(d) whether the authorities will reconsider conducting a comprehensive review as soon as possible on the income thresholds and the basis of means test conducted under WITSS, etc so that WITSS can relieve genuinely the burden of travelling expenses on low-income employed persons?

Reply :

President,

My reply to the Hon Frederick Fung's question is as follows:

(a) By February 20, 2012, the Labour Department (LD) had received 24 308 applications involving 26 563 applicants, and 18 566 of them had been granted subsidy payment of $63 million in total. The number of approved applicants broken down by District Council district is at Annex.

Of the 26 563 applicants, 8 412 live in the four districts covered by the Transport Support Scheme (TSS) (ie Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, North and Islands districts). Of these, 2 747 had been admitted to TSS, which is about 6.3% of all TSS admitted applicants.

To implement the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy (WITS) Scheme, LD is currently provided with an additional 260 staff. The monthly expense for their remuneration is about $5.06 million.

(b) The number of potential beneficiaries of the WITS Scheme estimated by the Administration earlier was based on statistics of household income and working hours only. However, as the Census and Statistics Department did not have information on household assets, we were unable to tell how many of them could also meet the asset requirement of the scheme. Moreover, whether an eligible person would ultimately apply for the subsidy and when he/she would submit the application were subject to other personal factors. Therefore, the figure provided at the time was no more than a rough indication for reference, and was not the exact or target number of eligible persons or beneficiaries.

Since this is a brand new scheme and it allows applicants to claim subsidies for the preceding 6 to 12 months, in the initial period it is very difficult for us to predict the actual number of applications and the timing of their submission. Providing sufficient staffing resources at the initial stage was to ensure that the processing of applications would not be unduly delayed owing to inadequate manpower. We will review the manpower arrangement at an appropriate juncture having regard to the operational experience.

We just announced at the meeting of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Manpower on 16th this month that technical adjustments to the income and asset limits of the WITS Scheme would be made with reference to the income data of the fourth quarter of 2011. The new limits will take effect from March this year.

(c) By February 20, 2012, LD had not received any complaint from TSS recipients about the implementation of the WITS Scheme. At the same time, LD had received about 44 000 enquiries about the WITS Scheme. However, since those who made enquiries were not required to indicate whether they had joined TSS before, we do not have statistics in this regard.

The Government had carefully considered different suggestions when formulating the WITS Scheme. It was decided that the means test should be conducted on a household basis because in this way the overall economic situation of the household could be fully taken into account. This could help channel resources to households with greater needs, and would also be consistent with the arrangements for other standing Government financial assistance schemes. LD will process all applications in accordance with the eligibility criteria approved by the LegCo Finance Committee.

(d) As mentioned in (b) above, we have announced that the income and asset limits of the WITS Scheme will be adjusted upwards starting from next month (March). We will also carry out a mid-term review as planned to take account of the operational experience in the first year, and conduct a comprehensive review after three years of operation.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2012, 03:28 PM   #11
Longershanks
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,212
Likes (Received): 0

The end result of travel subsidy schemes are

1) Employers can pay lower levels workers less
2) Poor people have a longer commute

Why not just up the minimum wage to $33?
Longershanks no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #12
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 75,677
Likes (Received): 6891

I tend to agree the minimum wage is supposed to cover this as well. As long as they're getting a proper salary, it would already factor in transport costs.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #13
shree711
Registered User
 
shree711's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,593
Likes (Received): 23

I think it is sad that the minimum rage here in Hong Kong currently is what one could consider as third world. They really should raise the wage to a higher standard. Maybe 33 dollars is better?
shree711 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #14
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 75,677
Likes (Received): 6891

Quote:
Originally Posted by shree711 View Post
I think it is sad that the minimum rage here in Hong Kong currently is what one could consider as third world. They really should raise the wage to a higher standard. Maybe 33 dollars is better?
Well, being at the extreme of free market laissez-faire, I doubt minimum wage here would ever reach levels in the West. 33 dollars is still peanuts compared to what the Americans typically get.

The fact that a minimum wage law was passed is already a miracle in itself.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 05:37 PM   #15
shree711
Registered User
 
shree711's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,593
Likes (Received): 23

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline

Well, being at the extreme of free market laissez-faire, I doubt minimum wage here would ever reach levels in the West. 33 dollars is still peanuts compared to what the Americans typically get.

The fact that a minimum wage law was passed is already a miracle in itself.
This is why the government gets criticised for not paying attention to the poor.
shree711 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #16
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 75,677
Likes (Received): 6891

Quote:
Originally Posted by shree711 View Post
This is why the government gets criticised for not paying attention to the poor.
True .. then the question is whether the population is willing to double their income tax to provide for services that mimick what the West gives to the poor.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg | Moscow | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Sydney | Hanoi | Bangkok | Prague

New York, London, Seoul, Taipei, Mumbai, Tokyo, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2012, 02:10 AM   #17
shree711
Registered User
 
shree711's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,593
Likes (Received): 23

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline

True .. then the question is whether the population is willing to double their income tax to provide for services that mimick what the West gives to the poor.
I doubt that Hong Kongers will want to pay more tax. Also, Hong Kong will lose out on competitiveness if taxes are raised. Singapore will beat us then.
shree711 no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.2.5 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

Hosted by Blacksun, dedicated to this site too!
Forum server management by DaiTengu