The head of the Hong Kong Employment Agencies Association on Monday urged the government to raise the food allowance for foreign domestic helpers.
The association's chairman, Kitman Cheung, made the appeal after the government increased the minimum wage for foreign domestic helpers by three percent to HK$4,870 per month, while the monthly food allowance went up by HK$40 to HK$1,236.
Cheung described the wage increase as reasonable but that the rise in allowance wasn't enough.
"Foreign domestic helpers have been complaining about the inadequacy of the food allowance, even vegetables now cost dozens dollars. Helpers can only rely on canned food or instant ramen for their daily meals. It appears that the increase in food allowance does not align with inflation, so such increase makes no sense," he said on an RTHK programme.
Cheung called on the government not to focus only on the Hong Kong market when determining the minimum wage and food allowance for foreign domestic helpers. He said the authorities should also look at other Southeast Asian markets to make the compensation competitive.