Majority think Hong Kong government should do more to address gap between rich and poor

According to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), more than 60 percent of respondents believe that the disparity between rich and poor in Hong Kong is critical. Nearly 30% predicted the gap would get worse over the next five years, while 80% believed the Hong Kong government (HKgov) should do more to alleviate the alarming situation.

The survey was conducted from May 27 to June 14 and successfully interviewed 710 people aged 18 or over by telephone. The research found that 67.1% of respondents thought the current disparity between rich and poor in Hong Kong was serious; 26.3% said it was not too serious and only 4.4% thought it was not serious.

Compared to the same survey five years ago, 51.6% of current respondents thought the current wealth gap had widened, and 37.0% thought it was somewhat similar. Only 7.2% thought it had improved.

Looking ahead, 28.5% of respondents predicted that the rich-poor gap would widen over the next five years; 37.4% thought it would be more or less the same. This reflects that most Hong Kong respondents were not optimistic about wealth equality in the future, unlike 19.2% who thought the margin would likely improve by then.

Asked about the cause of poverty in Hong Kong, 42.9% of the residents surveyed believed that it was mainly due to social elements. Of the 700 participants, 21.6% thought this was mainly due to individual factors. 26.2% believed that social elements and individual factors were the cause.

The survey showed that 80.1% of respondents believed the government should proactively address the gap between rich and poor.

Only 12.9% believe that HKgov has nothing to do to reduce the extreme disparity between rich and poor.

The survey showed that 11.1% of respondents said their household income was never enough to cover their daily expenses, compared to 83.2% who said it was enough.