Woes, woes for the poor in Macao

Auyeung echoes that sentiment, lamenting that she does not qualify for most government assistance, and struggles to make ends meet.

During her first five years in Macau, she left the house where she worked as a maid only twice, fearing she would be sent back to her village in mainland China if she was stopped by police. When she finally emerged, it was to marry and move in with her husband.

He had purchased a small flat in an old walk-up building. He died six years ago, and Auyeung she still lives in the flat with her two sons. Although she does not need to pay rent, living costs take up her entire £1,000-a-month salary. The two sons are at medical school.


There are quite literally hundreds of millions of peasants out there who would take that deal. It may not be all that fair nor all that lovely but it’s s fuck sight better than what’s on offer in most of the world.

Only in The Guardian. Converting at PPP we get about £17,000 a year, with housing costs already paid. That’s in the top 3% of global incomes. And two sons going on to become doctors. Only in The Guardian is this poverty.

Paul Pun of Caritas Macau says the gap between rich and poor in Macau is wide: “The government is aware of the issue, but they need to have the courage to face the problem, and face the property developers.”

They’re the people making the place so bloody rich!

3 thoughts on “Woes, woes for the poor in Macao”

  1. She seems to be below the income tax threshold with that salary, but she’ll be taxed 6% on the assessed value of the apartment. I suspect that this 6% is not insignificant, and accounts for a lot of her “living costs” outgoings, and will be about equivalent to rent.

  2. Actually, the source for that figure seems wrong – I’ve looked it up. It’s 6% of the assessed annual rental value, not 6% of the property value.

    And there’s a $3.5k deduction.

    So it’s possible she’s living entirely tax free if the rental value is under the threshold.

  3. One thousand quid A MONTH???? And she’s paying NO RENT??? When I lived in Hong Kong in the early 1990s £600 a month gave me enough money to pay rent, ‘leccy, food, etc. in HK and pay a mortgage in the UK and still have enough left over to pay debts run up at university and start a pension.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *