POLITICS – Average Salaries of Those Who Serve Us 17


Last week, a taxi driver named Tam Hoi-chi found himself in court after pocketing 50-cents when dropping off a woman in the New Territories. He fought in a pointless 6-month court battle, whilst many other states may have charged the passenger for wasting police time…

The SCMP revealed that “…the passenger did not ask for the 50 cents at the time but later complained to the police.”  If only the police and our legal system pursued corporate criminals with the same vigour.

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Long-suffering taxi driver, Tam Hoi-chi, via SCMP

Inspired by the passenger’s behaviour, we present a collection of average salaries for service staff in Hong Kong…

Domestic Maid monthly wage: HK$3,920 (or US$505, UK£331).

Image via asianews.it

Source: The Standard, 2012. Maids are exempt from the minimum wage law.

Cleaner average monthly wage: HK$7,641 (or US$984, UK£646).

Image via SCMP

Source: 2012 Gov’t census.

Dish washer average monthly wage: HK$8,948 (or US$1,152, UK£756).

Image via Yahoo

Source: 2012 Gov’t census.

Taxi driver average monthly wage: HK$9,000 (or US$1,159, UK£760).

Image via News Hooter

Source: Ming Pao, Feb 2012. N.B. Taxi licenses cost up to HK$6.5million. 70% of drivers rent the car from a corporation for HK$650 per 24-hrs. Most work 12hrs per day, taking home around $350-400 per day weekdays and up to HK$1k on weekends.

Security guard average monthly wage: HK$9,020 (or US$1,161, UK£762).

Image via Securitas

Source: 2012 Gov’t census.

Sales clerk/shop assistant average monthly wage: HK$10,778 (or US$1388, UK£910).

Image via Sergei Chervakov on Flickr

Source: 2012 Gov’t census.

Waiter/waitress average monthly wage: HK$10,780 (or US$1,388, UK£911).

Image via Vincent Yu, AP

Source: 2012 Gov’t census. N.B. In almost all cases, 10% service charges are retained by the restaurant and rarely passed onto staff.

Cook average monthly wage: HK$13,926 (or US$1,793, UK£1,176).

Image via The Guardian

Source: 2012 Gov’t census.

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There are no laws concerning working hours, paid weekly rest, rest breaks, or compulsory overtime for most employees in HK, such is the price workers pay for living in the ‘freest economy in the world’. According to the General Household Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department last year, approximately 17% of employees worked 60 hours or more per week.

The minimum wage in Hong Kong is now HK$30 yet HK has the widest poverty gap in the developed world, according to last October’s UN Human Development report. The richest 10% of the city now enjoy about a third of its total income, whilst the poorest 10% share only 2% of its wealth (SCMP April, 2013) and it is getting worse.

Inflation between 2001 and 2011 was around 30%, according to Terence Chong Tai-leung of Chinese University. Mortgage payments now account for around half of Hong Konger’s salaries, as house prices alone rose 3.76 times over. Despite this, income has grown by only 10% in HK during the same 10-year period…

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via Sustainable Living HK, http://bit.ly/14TGNBo

In 2001, the median monthly income for men was HK$12,000, a decade later it was just 8.3% more, HK$13,000. Women’s incomes rose from HK$10,000 to HK$11,000 during the same period. Median income for both genders between ages 15-24, remained completely unchanged, in spite of the post-SARs booming economy and record surplus (SCMP, January, 2013).

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‘Who Earns What in HK’. Chart via HKU’S JMSC, more at http://bit.ly/10mnnW1

Approximately 760,000 Hong Kong residents live under the locally defined poverty line (annual income of about HK$47,213 for an individual, HK$75,598 for a two-person unit, HK$100,168 ($12,842) for a three-person family). (US Human Rights Report, 2013)

‘Poverty Amidst Plenty’ – related posts on Hong Wrong…