Democratic Party to vote against Covid funding plan - RTHK
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Democratic Party to vote against Covid funding plan

2020-09-17 HKT 15:41
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  • The government has unveiled three rounds of funding under its anti-epidemic fund. Photo: RTHK
    The government has unveiled three rounds of funding under its anti-epidemic fund. Photo: RTHK
More political groups have voiced opposition to the government's latest pandemic relief funding request, saying it falls short of meeting people's needs.

The Democratic Party said it would vote against the package during an upcoming Legco Finance Committee meeting.

Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said the third round of the anti-epidemic fund, unveiled on Tuesday to the tune of HK$24 billion, would not benefit those in need.

He pointed out that only HK$4.5 billion was earmarked for employees, and there was no direct subsidy for the unemployed.

Wu accused the government of ignoring his party's demands. "We suggest to have a new round of handout for all the people in Hong Kong, we suggest the setting up of an employment subsidies programme for those unemployed, and we also suggest the government to give money directly to SMEs."

The latest round of funding aims to benefit 23 industries hit hard by the outbreak.

The pro-government Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), meanwhile, highlighted the plight of workers during the epidemic.

It said a survey of nearly 1,500 people showed about 30 percent said they had no income amid Covid-19, and many others have had to take unpaid leave or suffered a drop in earnings.

An FTU member, Bill Tang, said the Commission on Poverty should focus on tackling unemployment, rather than meeting people's housing needs, on the way forward.