Means test for elderly 'lacks pity'
Officials have been accused of disrespect towards the elderly over proposals to introduce a means test for extra benefits.
Currently, more than 300,000 people over 70 receive $705 a month under the Old Age Allowance with no means test. The Government proposes allowing those in difficulty to apply for at least $1,000, but a means test may be applied for sums above $705.
At a seminar yesterday to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Association for the Rights of the Elderly strongly opposed introducing a means test. 'The Government does not take pity on the elderly who have contributed so much to society, while it keeps talking about how to help the poor,' a spokeswoman said.
During last week's Policy Address, the Chief Executive said the Government would review the Old Age Allowance.
Director of Social Welfare Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the aim of the review was to help the elderly who are not eligible for the dole but who have difficulty making ends meet.