老人時代來臨

Writing Question:
Like many other developed cites, Hong Kong has an ageing population. However, while the average age of the population is rising, the living standard of the elderly is not. Thus, some people are urging the government to set up a universal protection 02the retirement age.

  • Write an article for your English teacher.
  • Explain some of the benefits and drawbacks of having a universal retirement protection scheme and ways to ensure that people from different businesses do not go against the scheme.
  • Include a title for your article.


No more poor old people

    It’s not about whether you need it; it’s about whether you deserve it. If providing priority seats to the elderly is one way to show respect, having a universal retirement protection scheme can be another. With the rise of the average age of the population, the living standard of the elderly has long been a pressing social issue. Since the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme could not provide a safety net for all the retired, a truly comprehensive retirement protection with the discussion.

    To begin with, the universal retirement protection scheme can be a token of appreciation to a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework. Being a housewife can be a full-time job that’s not protected under any retirement scheme. Shouldn’t this group of people be credited for what they had devoted to the society? Simila36rly, there are low income ndividuals who struggle to live even when they are still employed. How would their lives be when they retired? The MPF is certainly not going to guarantee a worry-free retirement for the low-income group. Some people work extremely hard day in day out, but they just do not get paid very much. Making the retirement protection scheme a universal one would at least give everyone an equal reward despite how life might have been unfair to them.  

    Still, everything comes with a price. One of the inevitable consequences of providing such a scheme would be that the government might need to raise different taxes including salaries tax and profits tax, not to mention a possible introduction to a goods and services tax. Undeniably, in order to balance the budget, the price for living, food, and even daily necessities might rise. Low income families will find it even harder to maintain their standard of living, taxpayers will feel dissatisfied, and companies will face a bigger challenge to run their business. Also, never should we neglect that the use of social resources, in this way, cannot be very effective. Since this scheme ignores the real need of different people, the needy might be allocated less than otherwise.

     Having said all that, it is necessary for the government to join with the business sector to promote wealth redistribution rather than to label welfare recipients. Welfare is not, and cannot be, just provided by the government; the business sector should have a high level of involvement in welfare provision. At this point, there is a need to develop the concept of wealth redistribution, equality, fairness, and justice. In Hong Kong, the government suggests the principle of Positive non-interventionism and advocates a low tax rate. Yet, it is high time the business sector be educated on taking up social responsibility. The ideal welfare system should be supported by all parties in society.

    As Stephen Hawking says, “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect”. Although the universal retirement protection scheme sparked a severe objection in society, it is an essential move to tackle the foreseeable ageing population.  

5A(29) Anthony Ng

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