Old-age allowance

Getting facts on poverty is crucial first step

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung recently announced that a poverty line would be defined by the end of the year. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Governments need facts and figures to do the job of governing properly. Hong Kong's lack of an officially recognised poverty line has meant that the poor are prone to fall through cracks in our welfare system. One of our most respected NGOs, the Council of Social Service, contends that one in three elderly people are now needy, putting the number for the first time over 300,000. The figures are shocking for a city so wealthy, but in the absence of official recognition, they are little more than a disturbing statistic.

Monday, 4 February, 2013, 3:02am

Elderly allowance bypasses filibuster

Legislator Leung Kwok-hung hold placard to protest against Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying during 2013 Policy Address and 2013-14 Budget regional forums. Photo: Felix Wong

About 290,000 elderly residents in need may receive a new monthly allowance of HK$2,200 from April after the administration executed what critics said was a carefully devised tactic in Legco that cut short a filibuster.

8 Dec 2012 - 4:44am 7 comments

Letters to the Editor, December 5, 2012

SlutWalk participants display protest signs. Photo: Nora Tam

Legco needs to focus on election reform

As a former legislative councillor, I find it difficult nowadays to explain to visiting friends that the legislature is becoming unbalanced because many lawmakers seem excessively tied down by two issues.

Firstly, there is the immoderate filibustering on an increased allowance of HK$2,200 for the elderly.

5 Dec 2012 - 3:10am 3 comments

Abusing both democracy and the elderly poor

Lam Woon-kwong. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Hong Kong is ready for democracy, you say? Go tell that to the 400,000 impoverished senior citizens who struggle daily to survive. Democracy has derailed immediate government relief for them, while grandstanding politicians use them as pawns.

21 Nov 2012 - 4:16am 7 comments

City Digest, November 12, 2012

HK$787,000 haul for Mid-Levels burglars

Burglars escaped with cash and valuables worth HK$787,000 after ransacking three flats at All Fit Garden in Bonham Road, Mid-Levels, on Saturday night. The thieves climbed into the flats from scaffolding.


New six-hour meeting on old-age allowance

12 Nov 2012 - 5:31am

City Digest, November 10, 2012

Two more jailed for acid attack on barrister

10 Nov 2012 - 4:03am

City Digest, November 7, 2012

Misleading internet ad earns HK$300,000 fine

7 Nov 2012 - 3:46am

Lawmakers move to delay old-age allowance scheme

Protesters rally for an improved old-age allowance outside Central Government offices in Tamar. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The row over the old-age allowance came to a head on Thursday, as opposition lawmakers sought to block its progress as the chief secretary offered them more time to discuss the scheme.

25 Oct 2012 - 7:59pm

I'll say it again: payout for all elderly is lunacy

Ron Hui Shu-yuen, of the Consumer Council, presents a report on Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes at a press conference in North Point. Photo: Edward Wong

Public Eye has never wavered from speaking out for Hong Kong's needy.

17 Oct 2012 - 4:05am 6 comments

Letters to the Editor, October 14, 2012

Premier Zhou Enlai showed wisdom. Photo: Xinhua

Insight on Diaoyus from both sides

I refer to Minnie Chan's article "Rules of diplomatic game broken" (September 29) in the context of Teddy Ng's article "Japan's PM calls for meeting over Diaoyu dispute" (October 12).

14 Oct 2012 - 2:42am 2 comments

Democrat disagrees with waiving old-age allowance means test

Democratic Party member Law Chi-kwong has criticised his own party and its Legco allies for calling on the government to waive a means test for a new old-age allowance, suggesting that it was a breach of political ethics.

He said he was "fading out" of party affairs "to speak for what is right".

6 Oct 2012 - 3:11am

CY should stand firm on means test for old-age allowance

Means testing of elderly entitlements is a sensitive issue involving respect for age and social equity. Five years ago, former Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen gave in to intense public pressure and scrapped a plan to means-test the old-age allowance for people over 70 when he raised it to HK$1,000.

5 Oct 2012 - 1:46am 4 comments