Social Security Policy In Hong Kong Social Work Essay

Welfare services are important elements in a society, which public assistance should supply, to what extent the public assistance can be provided and how to supply may change among different society. There are some theoretical accounts help us to understand the factors impacting the public assistance system such as the Residual Welfare Model and the East Asian Welfare Model. We will analyze whether Hong Kong a typical illustration of these two theoretical accounts by analysing the societal public assistance policies.Social public assistance refers to the wellbeing or improvement for persons through direct benefits, services or disposable income ( Wong, 2010 ) .

Harmonizing to Ronald B. Dear, Social policies are those rules, processs, and classs of action established in legislative act, administrative codification, and bureau ordinance that affect people ‘s societal wellbeing. Social Welfare Policies are some kind of these societal policies. “ ‘They may be thought of as those policies that affect the distribution of resources ‘ Richan ( 1988 ) . In the undermentioned analysis, we will 5 chief sorts of public assistance policies which are lodging, instruction wellness attention, societal attention and societal security to exemplify whether Hong Kong a typical illustration of both the East Asian Welfare Model and Residual Welfare Model or non.There are assorted features of the Residual Welfare Model, the single features, economic features and the features of authorities and province.For the single features, people are recognized to be self-independent, self-interested and self-responsible.

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For the economic features, ‘laissez just ‘ economic system and the ‘invisible manus ‘ are upheld since people believes that market can work out the societal jobs and to keep the well- being of the society.The authorities and province are the major suppliers of societal public assistance and control to what extent the public assistance can be provided. Under RWM, the authorities and province should non over load itself with societal welfare/ services and interfere with single right and involvements.

Therefore, merely the basic public assistance should be provided i.e. jurisprudence and order, defence, conveyance and communicating infra- construction. Welfare seems as residuary, impermanent and replacements of the normal construction of supply which means the household and the market economic system. Merely when the normal construction of supply interruptions down, societal public assistance and services should be provided. In order to avoid the trust on the public assistance system, some of the welfare/ services may come with the stigma of ‘dole ‘ or ‘charity ‘ component.

The hapless is the major group of people to acknowledge public assistance and they ever recognized as the unqualified 2nd category members of society. To guarantee the public assistance can be provided to the people in demand, public assistance will ever hold selectivity. The most common method is by agencies trial.Harmonizing the Mishra, the chief characteristics show that a minimum authorities or province is preferred. The authorities merely wants to supply public assistance for the paupers and hapless which is merely minority group of the society.

The services provided are merely functioning the basic demand for them and scope of statutory services is limited. Uniting all these elements, public assistance is merely a safety cyberspace, confined to those who are unable to pull off otherwise.Main characteristicsResidual1. State duty in meeting demands ( political orientation of province intercession )Minimal2. Need-based distribution as a value ( political orientation of distribution )Fringy3. Scope of statutory servicesLimited4.

Population covered by statutory servicesMinority5. Degree of benefitsLow6. Proportion of national income spent on province serviceLow7. Use of agencies testPrimary8. Nature of clientsPaupers/ the hapless9. Status of clientsLow10.Orientation of the serviceCoercive11. Function of non-statutory bureaus in public assistancePrimaryFig.

1, The chief characteristics of Residual Welfare Model, ( Mishra, 1984 )

Whether Hong Kong a typical illustration of Residual Welfare Model?

We used the 5 chief sorts of societal public assistance policies in Hong Kong to exemplify Hong Kong is following the RWM or non.


Hong Kong provided different strategies for people to pay for their instruction fee. One of the instruction subsidy strategies is Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme. Government will subsidise the parents to run into towards school fees for pre-primary instruction of their kids in the signifier of Pre-primary Education Vouchers.In add-on, Hong Kong authorities announced 12 old ages of free instruction in Policy Address 2009-2010. It provides 12 old ages mandatory free instruction to kids.

For the Third pupils, Tertiary Student Finance Scheme was released. Government provided larger sum of subsidies to third pupils. The entire sum of grant paid by authorities is $ 621.93 million in 2009-10.Fig.2, Publicly-funded Programmes Summary of StatisticssThe Continuing Education Fund ( CEF ) subsidizes grownups who willing to prosecute go oning instruction and preparation classs. Adequate appliers will be refunded 80 % of their fees, a maximal amount of HK $ 10,000. Apparently, authorities wages attempt on the instruction policies and the population covered is truly wide.

Health Care

For the Clinics portion, 70 % of primary audiences take topographic point in private sector while others take topographic point in authorities funded clinics.Furthermore, there are 41 public infirmaries in Hong Kong. However, there are merely 12 private infirmaries. And the Hong Kong ‘s 12 private infirmaries provide a sum of 2794 beds. It less than 10 % into the figure of hospital beds in Hong Kong.Furthermore, in Healthcare Reform ( 2009-2010 Policy Address ) , authorities decided to increase the healthcare outgo from 15 % of the Government ‘s recurrent outgo to 17 % by 2012.

The scheme of health care reform reflects the authorities ‘s way of health care in the follow few old ages will still extremely intervene in the health care services.All of these healthcare policies show that authorities has a rather high degree of intercession and these services are unfastened to all the Hong Kong occupants without any selectivity. As a consequence, the wellness attention does non fit to the rules of residuary public assistance theoretical account.


Government besides had launched batch of policies about lodging. There are about 710A 000 public rental lodging in the Housing Authority ‘s portfolio, lodging about two million people.Tenants Purchase Scheme ( TPS ) was introduced in 1997 to enable at least 250A 000 households populating in public rental lodging to purchase their flats at an low-cost monetary value which is lower than the market monetary value.

Besides, Home ownership strategies ( HOS ) is another ownership strategy. It is designed to help occupants to purchase their ain flats and HOS flats are subsidized public lodging.It is easy to happen that authorities had interfered a batch in the lodging supply. The population covered non merely concentrate on the minority.

Therefore, it differs from the rules of residuary public assistance theoretical account.

Social Care

In the field of societal attention, it provides a broad scope of services taking attention of the aged, kids, immature people, disablements, the victims of domestic force, etc. This is rather different from the RWM since the population covered is big. The most common method adopted by the HK Government to supply the public assistance services is to organize partnership with non-government organisations. The authorities give a “ Lump Sum Grant ‘ to the NGOs and they provide the services to those in demand. The disbursal on the Social Welfare Organization occupied the 3rd big proportion of the entire disbursal on public assistance in Hong Kong.Fig.

3, The disbursal of the societal services organisation

Social Security – Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme

The features on supplying services on societal security seem more close to the RWM. The purpose of societal security is to supply for the basic and particular demands of the members of the community who are in demand of fiscal or material aid ( Social Welfare Department, 2008 ) . It is a short- clip aid.CSSA is a safety cyberspace for those who can non back up themselves financially and convey their income up to a prescribed degree to run into their basic demands ( Social Welfare Department, 2008 ) .

The old age, individual parent and unemployment are the three major groups of people of to use CSSA ( Statistics on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme 1998-2008, 2009 ) .In order to choose the most needful, people apply for CSSA should travel through the fiscal trials. They need to go through the income and assets trials. Office interview and place visit will carry on to look into and verify the appliers ‘ fortunes and information provided.

Since this is a short-time aid, the authorities do non desire people rely on it, there is some particular agreement for those aged 15-59 in normal wellness to actively seek full-time occupations and take part in the Support for Self-reliance Scheme of the Department ( Social Welfare Department, 2008 ) .


In the 5 chief sorts of societal policies, merely the societal security seems to be the typical illustration of residuary public assistance theoretical account. Social security merely provides short-run aid and to carry through the basic demands of the receivers. Furthermore, a series and comprehensive probe and fiscal trial are needed. And the CSSA may do the Stigmatization. Peoples may hold bias on those CSSA receivers. Besides Government pays attempt to learn and promote the receiver to work in other to go forth the safety cyberspace.

In this sense, it conforms to the rule of residuary public assistance theoretical account.On the other manus, the other four classs of societal public assistance policies are non much like the residuary public assistance theoretical account. They are more like cosmopolitan benefits and services holding no or less selectivity, because benefits available to everyone.

Those policies non merely supply basic demands of person but besides to better the quality of life, cultivate the citizens, and so on. Therefore, the outgo on public assistance supports increasing. Therefore, Hong Kong is non a typical illustration of residuary public assistance theoretical account.

The East Asian Welfare Model ( the EAWM )


There is another theoretical account related to societal public assistance policy which is the East Asian Welfare Model.

It portions the Confucian moralss and value stressing on instruction, strong household dealingss, benevolent paternalism, societal harmoniousness, subject, regard for tradition and strong work ethic. To find whether Hong Kong is a typical illustration of The East Asian Welfare Model, we can see if it matches the elements of the theoretical account.

Dominated on economic concerns

In the EAWM, public assistance policies are dominated on economic concerns in order to better the productiveness of labour force and supply strong working inducement.

As it aims to assist increasing the productiveness of an economic system, it is besides called as a “ productivist ” societal policy. Hong Kong does fit this component.There is a construct of “ from public assistance to work ” in Hong Kong.

When more people have their ain occupations, the Numberss of CSSA receivers will diminish and the productiveness of an economic system will be increased excessively.

Targeted employment aid for assorted CSSA Recipients

In Hong Kong, the authorities marks employment aid for assorted CSSA receivers. For illustration, the Three test Enhanced Community Work Projects which includes preparation elements in 2005 to 2006 were aimed to heighten the employability of participants. Up to October in 2006, there were 145 Intensive Employment Assistance Projects which provided intensive employment aid services to unemployed CSSA receivers. Hong Kong authorities besides supports for Self-reliance Scheme ( SFS ) that encourages and assists employable receivers to take up paid employment so as to do them to go autonomous.

This strategy includes Active Employment Assistance programme and Community Work programme. They aimed to assist people happening occupations and therefore increase the productiveness of Hong Kong.

Regulator instead than supplier

The Hong authorities Acts of the Apostless as a regulator of public assistance policy instead than a supplier in EAWM. Hong Kong matches this component since Hong Kong authorities contracts out the services by giving financess to different organisations and asks them to supply public assistance services for it.

For illustration, it provides financess to The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council to construct Family Crisis Support Centres in order to undertake household crisis. It besides gives financess to Po Leung Kuk and Childtime International Nursery Limited to construct up kid attention centre so as to supply kid attention services. It gives financess to St.

James ‘ Settlement and Hong Kong Society for the Aged to supply aged services such as constructing up Elderly Community Centres.

Manner to keep societal stableness and legitimacy

In the EAWM, public assistance has been seen and used as a cardinal component to keep societal stableness, to acquire the legitimacy of authoritiess which lacked democratic legitimacy and to better grudges. Hong Kong matches this component. In Hong Kong, the Chief Executive and authorities functionaries are non elected by cosmopolitan right to vote. With less legitimacy, public assistance service becomes one of the tactics to lenify the grudges and to keep societal stableness. Social welfares can maintain societal stableness as when people ‘s demands have been satisfied, they are expected non to perpetrate offenses. Hong Kong authorities does make a batch to give fiscal aid to the hapless. For illustration, CSSA Scheme gives fiscal aid to those who can non back up themselves.

Social Security Allowance ( SSA ) Scheme provides monthly allowance to Hong Kong occupants who are badly handicapped or 65 old ages old or above. It shows that Hong Kong authorities uses public assistance as a tool to keep societal stableness, and so as to retain the legitimacy of the authorities.

Low societal public assistance outgo

Hong Kong Government outgo on societal public assistance is low compared with the Western states. The public assistance outgo ( % of GDP ) of some western states is above 20 % , some are up to 29 % . In Hong Kong, the public assistance outgo ( % of GDP ) is about 8 % due to the low revenue enhancement rate and the trust on the market and the household to supply public assistance.

Hostile to the thought of public assistance province

Hong Kong is besides hostile to the thought of public assistance province.

In the public assistance provinces, the revenue enhancement rate is high such as the corporate revenue enhancement rate is 25 % and the personal revenue enhancement is up to 58 % in Denmark. The high revenue enhancement can back up rate of big public assistance outgo. Welfare states provide comprehensive coverage of public assistance including old-age pensions, unemployment benefits wellness and child care services. The public assistance is besides really favorable since is more than the basic demands. In Sweden, the unemployed will have 80 per centum of his or her normal income under the unemployment benefits. However, in Hong Kong, the revenue enhancement rates are highly low compared with the OECD criterions.

The corporation revenue enhancement rate is 17.5 % and personal revenue enhancement rate is merely 16 % , around 1/3 of the OECD criterion. Hong Kong is one of the topographic points with the lowest revenue enhancement rates, named as revenue enhancement oasis. The low revenue enhancement rates encourage competition i.e. the harder you work and more you gain.

In the White Paper – Social Welfare into the 1990s, authorities stated that it worked difficult to better the dependence civilization and remind the citizen ‘s inducement to work and sabotage the productive engine of the economic system ” . It is to promote self- independency and duty.

Significant function of the household

The household plays a important function in Hong Kong societal public assistance.

Hong Kong is influenced by the traditional Confucian civilization which is household oriented. The function of household is measured non merely by its richness but besides by its nucleus values, the kindness, caring for others and common support. The household members support and expression after each other. The figure of aged life with their boy is higher than that in Western states. The Government policies besides promote the household values to buoy up the dependence on societal public assistance system. Under Hong Kong revenue enhancement system, allowances are given to the taxpayers who taking attention of their kids, parents and grandparents. It is to promote household members to look after the young person and the aged.

Besides, the Public lodging allotment policy will give particular consideration to the household with aged. The lodging policy is household oriented. In the Policy Address 2009-2010, CE suggested to put up a “ Happy Family Info Hub ” to advance household nucleus values, and to present household instruction every bit good as support services for the household. ( Policy Address 2009-2010 )

Piecemeal, matter-of-fact and ad hoc public assistance development

Welfare development in Hong Kong is bit-by-bit, matter-of-fact and ad hoc.

There is no comprehensive long term development programs on socialA public assistance, for illustration, the public lodging policy in 50s, the purposes of the policy is to settle the fire victims of Shek Kei Mei homesteader countries. Besides, The Government legitimacy is shattered in the 67 public violence. After that, Government started the societal security policy including public aid strategy, old age and disablement allowances in the early 70s. The purposes of the societal security policy are to cover with critical issues and keep society stableness. Social public assistance policies are reactive steps to turn to ad hoc issues without long term planning.


In decision, merely societal security policy in Hong Kong fit the Residual Welfare Model but other policies such as lodging, instruction, wellness attention and societal attention do non suit the theoretical account. On the other manus, the societal public assistance systems in Hong Kong fit most of the elements of The East Asian Welfare Model.

Therefore, we do non hold that Hong Kong is a typical illustration of both theoretical accounts since it is non a typical illustration of the Residual Welfare Model but a typical illustration of the East Asian Welfare Model.