Means Test

Stop blocking old-age payments

The elderly protest to demand better benefits. Photo: SCMP

The government's proposed Old Age Living Allowance has still not been approved because some lawmakers on the finance committee demand the scrapping of a means test.

Friday, 7 December, 2012, 4:26am

Lawmakers move 110 motions to delay debate on old-age allowance

Lawmakers used delaying tactics for more than five hours yesterday to block approval of the government's proposed old-age living allowance.

"Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, and the Labour Party's Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung conducted the filibuster in the meeting of Legco's finance committee while protesters demonstrated outside.

17 Nov 2012 - 4:23am 1 comment

Democrats push for vote on old age allowance

Emily Lau Wai-hing, vice-chairwoman of the Democratic Party. Photo: Felix Wong

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum were hoping for quick passage of the proposed new allowance for elderly people, as they got ready to begin a six-hour meeting on the issue on Friday afternoon.

The Legislative Council’s Finance Committee will hold the lengthy session to resume scrutiny of the government’s funding application for the monthly HK$2,200 allowance.

16 Nov 2012 - 2:36pm

Letters to the Editor, November 15, 2012

Illegal ivory tusks seized in Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

All African elephants under threat

I refer to the letter from Charlie Lim, of the Marine Products Association ("Differentiating legal and illegal trade", November 3).

Once again, your correspondent's approach is inaccurate. While in his letters he often struggles to explain that the shark fin trade remains sustainable, he is mistaken when he writes about elephants.

15 Nov 2012 - 2:35am

Pass old-age allowance to help those in need

Lawmaker Wong Yuk-man protests outside the Legislative Council, during a meeting on old age allowance. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

About 400,000 of the city's poorest elderly face missing out for a month on a new special old-age allowance of HK$2,200 because the government and lawmakers have failed to narrow differences that stand in the way of funding approval. The elderly will have to make do for another month with the existing HK$1,090 a month allowance, eking out the necessities of life lest they run out of money.

1 Nov 2012 - 2:58am

Why must elderly poor wait longer while allowance is fine-tuned?

It is plain wrong to withhold a miserly allowance from the elderly poor just so legislators can make a political point.

Why, I ask, are we trying to hold off giving money - albeit a small amount and not nearly enough - to the elderly poor? The government's proposed Old Age Living Allowance that would give HK$2,200 a month to the elderly poor isn't perfect. Nothing in life is. And if we lived in an ideal world, there'd be no such word as "poverty".

29 Oct 2012 - 12:53am 1 comment

Old age welfare 'all about dignity' says ex-sailor

Old age welfare 'all about dignity' says ex-sailor

Ideas on allowances and pensions for the elderly have been tossed around and taken apart by politicians and academics.

But for Chiu See-poon, a former sailor who worked for 54 years before retiring at 74, it is really all about helping the elderly live a decent, dignified life.

28 Oct 2012 - 4:59am

Vote on old age allowance deferred to sidestep showdown

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Photo: David Wong

Legco's vote on the HK$2,200 old age allowance is due to be deferred by the government after pan-democrats threatened to force an adjournment.

26 Oct 2012 - 4:14am

Letters to the Editor, October 25, 2012

Loss of panel positions bad for democracy

Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong should be making gradual and orderly progress towards democracy.

25 Oct 2012 - 2:39am 2 comments

Letters to the Editor, October 24, 2012

A women-only commuter carriage in Jakarta. Photo: EPA

Means test is part of prudent budget policies

I share Bess Tsang's view that the means test for the proposed HK$2,200-a-month old age subsidy should not be abolished ("Why means test must not be scrapped", October 22).

Statistics show that there is great financial inequality in Hong Kong.

24 Oct 2012 - 2:19am 4 comments

Letters to the Editor, October 23, 2012

Roundabouts help keep traffic moving. Photo: David Wong

Government is committed to cleaner air

Your leader ("Don't lose sight of clean air", October 17) and Howard Winn ("Never mind the weight, what about the concentration?", October 12) complained that the government trumpeted the reduction in the weight of air emissions when we released the emissions inventory.

23 Oct 2012 - 3:05am 2 comments

Support grows for Leung's old age allowance scheme

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said it was "not opposing" the measure.

The government appears to have won crucial support for its monthly HK$2,200 Old Age Living Allowance schemeafter the biggest pro-establishment party softened its stance yesterday, saying it would reconsider the welfare minister's latest proposal of an annual review.

22 Oct 2012 - 8:48am

Talking Points

Activists plan to launch anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border. Photo: AFP

Activists launch anti-Pyongyang leaflets

22 Oct 2012 - 2:52am

Letters to the Editor, October 22, 2012

Cross-border tension cannot be ignored

There is a feeling that, for the sake of people living in Hong Kong, there is a need for stronger regulation of the number of mainlanders coming here and better scrutiny by border control of the purpose of their visit.

22 Oct 2012 - 2:52am 1 comment

SCMP Debate: Should a means test be applied to old age allowance?

SCMP Debate: Should a means test be applied to old age allowance?

Plans for a HK$2,200 per month Old Age Living Allowance forthe elderly have divided the city due to the inclusion of a means test. Many lawmakers say the allowance, to be voted on by the Legislative Council's finance committee on Friday, should be available to all.

22 Oct 2012 - 5:42am 6 comments