Means test for elderly 'lacks pity'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 12:00am

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.



Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

For unlimited access to: SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive