(Press Release, 14 July 2010)
THE LION ROCK INSTITUTE PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lion Rock’s task-force monitors damage of Minimum Wage
HONG KONG – The Lion Rock Institute firmly reiterates its opposition to the minimum wage legislation, as it will harm our city’s most vulnerable. It is only becoming more obvious that forcing a minimum wage will be disastrous, and in response, Lion Rock has a task-force in place to monitor the damages of the law.
In the aftermath of the law’s implementation, the Government will throw away money and time, as well as businesses’, in efforts to implement the minimum wage. Subsequently there will be unemployment and frozen wages. Questions such as, how many vulnerable workers will be forced out of a job and rely on CSSA, will be tracked by the task-force.
Peter Wong, Lion Rock’s Executive Director, fears the impact of job losses, “How will young people get on the career ladder? How many old people will lose their job and also their social life? How will new immigrants integrate into society without being able to enter the workforce?”
Moving forward, The Lion Rock Institute welcomes the public to share their stories and critiques involving personal experiences under minimum wage. LRI will also be collecting data on unemployment, track the use of disposable utensils and other indicators which signal job losses in low-income industries. Lion Rock suspects that the law will change Hong Kong’s way of life, as many businesses will have to cut costs through eliminating staff, or reduce regulatory risk by outsourcing, taking the form of less public convenience, such as less availability of free, private toilets, increased use of disposable utensils and bowls as a result of less staff, and the need for customers to bus their own tables.
Those who should be benefited by this legislation will ultimately be harmed; it is the biggest loss associated with the Minimum Wage legislation. “Yes, there will be cultural changes in Hong Kong because of minimum wage, but unemployment will be the biggest issue” said Nicole Alpert, LRI Research Associate, “and at the end of the day, that’s the biggest issue Lion Rock cares about”.
The Lion Rock Institute, founded in 2004, is Hong Kong’s leading free market think tank. Lion Rock subscribes to the view that open and free markets, strongly defended property rights, small government, low taxes, and minimal restrictions on the business environment create the best atmosphere for freedom and prosperity. For more information, visit www.lionrockinstitute.org