Benefit cuts 'keep homeless on the streets'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 November, 1999, 12:00am

Street-sleepers yesterday attended a Legco panel meeting to air grievances about cuts in rent-related allowances.

They told the welfare panel the cuts would force them to remain homeless and make it harder to find jobs.

The cuts were made when the Government tightened welfare support, including rent allowances.

Social workers said the reductions had led to a surge in the number of street sleepers, more of them young.

Government figures showed there were 783 street sleepers this September, but the Society for Community Organisation said there were nearly 3,000.

A 41 year-old street-sleeper said: 'We're like wandering dogs, who don't even know where we will be tomorrow.' Assistant Commissioner for Labour Chow Tung-shan said the supply of pagers to street-sleepers was being considered as part of measures to help them.