Letter to the Editor

Author: Ma Chi Ho Martin
Class: 5C

Dear Editor,

I am writing to share my opinion on poverty among single parent families. After reading the news about a single family living in a 55 sq ft subdivided unit, I feel bad for them as they face a lot of problems. Poverty has absolutely put more weight on people’s shoulder. I have some solutions on it.

First of all, the single-parent families have less income. As we all know, it takes a fortune to raise a kid these days. A recent survey showed that the more the parents learn, the higher the chance their kids can receive a university degree, the easier they can study oversea. Education is a significant yet simple way to come out from poverty. The reality is always the villains. Not only they have one source of income instead of two, they also have to pay for the daily needs. The cost of living is rising but the income of the family is limited. Kids either quit studying for low-skilled job or study hard to have a university degree. Having a university degree doesn’t always equal a high paid job. In the last 20 years, the advantage of owning a degree is slowly fading. The number of owner is increasing, the low-skilled paid better, this will shorten the gap between a degree holder and the one without it. Not to mention the loans after the four years of university life. Their lives are really tough.

The problem seems to be well-covered yet. From my point of view, there are solutions to tackle this harsh situation. The government plays a big role in my plan. In order to create equality, we can’t put everyone in the same starting point but to give opportunities equally. Starting by giving the poor more and taxing the rich more, a study has shown that 70% of tax is the most you can ask from the rich without getting them mad. The tax rate in Hong Kong is really low in the world. Therefore, the income of the government is unstable. If we reform the tax system, the poor can benefit from the funding given by the government. I don’t think it all about the quality of living instead. It’s the cost of living. The cost of living of the single parent as families should be well supported since they should have the same rights as we do. From food funding support to rent limitation, there is a bunch of ways to aid them.

The government does big things and we can do a little favour for them. If we see one in society, as an employer, you can offer them more chances. As a friend of them, we can help them as much as we can do. From mental support to financial help, this would be a big help to them. I believe that everyone can have a sustainable life in Hong Kong, it is only a matter of time and chance. What the community can do is to rebuild the confidence for them to start working again. At this moment, the equal opportunity comes in. As I mentioned earlier, the low-skilled jobs are paid more than 20 years ago. The low-educated parent can take advantage from it due to the minimum wage. The only way to boost the economy is where the salary and the cost of living increase with a positive rate. The bargaining power of Hong Kong Dollars will then be increased and everyone will benefit from it.

With the help of the government and the community, when both solutions meet, the outcome is out of our imagination. The biggest problem is that they have a major part of their income missing. The solutions are there to fill the gap. I truly hope the equality will come true in the coming future.

Yours faithfully

Chris Wong