Poor newcomers to get HK$10,000 handout through fund - RTHK
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Poor newcomers to get HK$10,000 handout through fund

2020-03-03 HKT 10:25
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  • Poor newcomers to get HK$10,000 handout through fund
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong says new arrivals in Hong Kong who will miss out on a HK$10,000 per person handout announced in last week's budget may receive the same sum from the Community Care Fund instead.

Law said the money would be for people who intend to live in the SAR permanently and would not discriminate by nationality. However the handout would only go to people who meet an asset limit and are in financial need, although the details have not yet been decided.

"It is more or less the practice that we had made in 2011; primarily based on those who are coming to Hong Kong to live here in Hong Kong rather than those who are in transit, such as those who are studying or those who are imported labour," he said, referring to the last government cash handout of HK$6,000 nine years ago.

"So the primary purpose of those who we are covering is those who are coming here to stay, but unfortunately they may not have reached the seven-year rule to become permanent residents, so this is the major target," Law added.

"Because the amount of money will be disbursed by the Community Care Fund, therefore it will have a rider on it and that is: it will be someone who has some financial needs, so it's basically the grassroots people we are talking about."

Law said the proposal would still need to be approved in detail. He did not say whether the government would inject more money into the fund to pay for the handout.

In 2011, the fund provided payouts to an estimated 200,000 people after then-financial chief John Tsang announced a HK$6,000 payout to permanent residents.

It imposed income limits ranging from HK$7,300 for a single person household to HK$37,300 for households of six people or more. The scheme included people who arrived on one-way permits from the mainland, dependants of permanent residents and people who had unconditional right to stay, as well as their dependants.

People excluded from the scheme included foreign domestic helpers and those admitted for employment, education or investment.