Low­est Earn­ers’ Al­lowance Axed

HK Magazine - - NEWS -

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.

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