Changes in Social Policy in Hong Kong since 1997 Old Wine in New Bottles?

Wong Hung

in Contemporary Hong Kong Government and Politics

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9789888139477
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9789882208681 | DOI:
Changes in Social Policy in Hong Kong since 1997 Old Wine in New Bottles?

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This chapter identifies a central problem in Hong Kong’s social policy—its economic pragmatism. This limitation, together with the colonial mentality of policymakers, shaped the social policy in the post-handover Hong Kong, making it no more than “old wine in new bottles”. The practical and piecemeal responses produced are inadequate for addressing fundamental needs and problems, leading to sharp deterioration in the social conditions in Hong Kong, which include the deepening of poverty, a widening wealth gap, the rise of class conflicts and anti-rich sentiment. It has been argued that the HKSAR government seems to gradually lose its will to govern and tends to wait for the CPG to take the leadership. However, the ideal way out should be a more comprehensive, long-term, and people-oriented planning for social policy with greater participation of civil society.

Keywords: Hong Kong; Government; Politics; Special Administrative Region; Social policy; Wealth gap; Class conflict; Civil society

Chapter.  7735 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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