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Work incentives laid out for poor

2015.11.30
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About 200,000 low-income families will start receiving monthly allowances ranging from HK$300 to HK$1,000 from May under a new HK$3 billion per year scheme.

Unveiling details of the Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme (低收入在職家庭津貼計劃), Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (勞工及福利局局長張建宗) said 710,000 individuals will benefit from the scheme.

They will have their payments backdated to November, and will receive lump-sum initial payments.

Cheung said the move to tackle poverty will see the poverty rate drop 2 percent and the child poverty rate by 4.2 percent.

Application forms will be available starting from April.

Last year, the population of poor numbered 960,000 in Hong Kong while the poverty rate was 14.3 percent.

A family that only earns half of the median household monthly income is eligible to apply for the full allowance, and could get a maximum of HK$2,600.

Single-parent family applicants only need to work 72 hours per month to qualify for HK$1,000.

Marginal applicants with an income slightly higher than 50 percent of the median monthly domestic household income could receive half the allowance.

Cheung said the scheme is aimed at easing working poverty and encouraging people to work. A review will be conducted in 2017.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 1 December 2015)

Low Income Working Family Allowance Scheme
www.wfsfaa.gov.hk/wfao/en/index.htm

Commission on Poverty
www.povertyrelief.gov.hk/eng/welcome.html

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