Hong Kong has 1,100 people who sleep on the streets. All have been offered alternative accommodation by my department. During last week's cold spell, one street sleeper died. He was a drug abuser who had chosen to move out of his family home.
Our social security system in Hong Kong is not rudimentary. Those supported by it are not in "unbearable poverty". Over the past three years the average payments to a single social security customer have increased by 29 per cent in real terms. The current payment, at pounds 220 per month, is broadly equivalent to the UK old-age pension rate. Total expenditure on social security in Hong Kong has doubled over the past three years.
While Hong Kong is not a welfare state - nor will it become one - the Hong Kong government cares for the welfare of our citizens.
Director of Social Welfare
Hong Kong Government
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