Lowest Earners’ Allowance Axed
Social welfare groups have condemned a possible move to end a one-off living allowance that was first introduced in 2014 for the city’s lowest-income residents who do not benefit from existing assistance schemes, in particular a rent waiver for public housing tenants that was discontinued this year. Shiu Ka-chun, a law-make-relect representing social workers, said that “the living standard of low-income people should be protected.” Sze Lai-shan, from the Society for Community Organization, pointed out that individuals excluded from government welfare safety nets had “extra needs.” This year the allowance was worth about $4,000 to single persons, up to $14,000 for households of five. A total of 59,000 households benefited from the scheme this year, amounting to $512 million.
Our take: The Man giveth, and The Man taketh away.