• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 7:55pm
NewsHong Kong

Cut in minimum working hours to give more families low-income benefits

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 3:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 3:00am

The minimum working hours to qualify for a low-income family subsidy are to be lowered by 16 hours a month to an "absolute baseline" for the government.

The welfare chief said yesterday the proposed threshold for the full subsidy of HK$1,000 would be lowered from 208 to 192, adding 61,000 families to the list of those qualifying.

"This is our absolute baseline, taking into account its effects on the labour market as well," Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said.

But a pressure group helping the working poor said the change would have little real impact.

The subsidy, applying to families with at least one member in full-time employment, is due to start next year. Those working 192 to 144 hours will receive HK$600 while those with children will get an extra HK$800 or HK$400 per child according to their working hours.

Under the latest proposal, 60 per cent of about 204,000 families set to benefit will now qualify for the full HK$1,000.

Herrick Lee Yen-hao, of the pressure group Concerning CSSA and Low Income Alliance, said the change was only slight and the threshold should be 176 hours. He said this was based on 22 working days a month, five days a week and eight hours a day. The government's 192 hours was based on 24 working days.

"It's a matter of principle - employees should not have work take over their whole life."

Pro-democracy lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee, a member of the Commission on Poverty, agreed the level should be 176 hours. "The government has made a concession but it is not enough," he said.



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Pro-democratische parlementariër Frederick Fung Kin-kee, een lid van de Commissie over de Armoede, overeengekomen het peil moet 176 uur. "De overheid heeft een concessie gedaan, maar het is niet genoeg," zei hij.
Good talk, keep on this man, life is not about work work work... money money money... it's about the balans, 8/8/8/ ... work sleep hobby... to make u mind healthy, to grow up lovely, not greedy... if some one love money, u can go to work harder and longer, but don't push or abuse the weakness to fill u pocket... free of choice of working, but the basis is necessary... only 8u work day/40u week/10 mnd year... and no more, salaries must be balanced with the basis life (satterfield)... home, food, clothes and healthy... No luxe... this is for another people (story)... Freedom of speech...
Another subsidy to employers. Here's a better idea: increase the minimum wage to $36 and those lower income workers working 192 hours per month will get $1000+ more in their pockets each month and it doesn't cost taxpayers anything!
This scheme is just more collusion between govt. and business.


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