The post-handover government may use the huge reserves to increase payments to the elderly, an SAR executive councillor hinted yesterday. 'The financial reserves of the SAR will be abundant. We should do something beneficial to Hong Kong in all aspects. We should try our best to improve elderly welfare,' said Chung Shui-ming. Deputy Secretary for the Treasury Kevin Ho Chi-ming said it had been decided Comprehensive Social Security Assistance would be increased by about seven per cent - in line with inflation. The Government would keep reviewing whether there were enough services provided to the elderly. Since the Budget was announced last week, legislators have criticised the Government's refusal to increase welfare payments substantially. They have suggested that is because the Government wants to allow Mr Tung to make the increases and claim the credit. More than 100 elderly protesters marched to Government House yesterday to voice their anger at the freeze on social welfare. They said the Government had the resources yet refused to share them with the elderly most in need. 'This year's Budget repeatedly emphasised how rich Hong Kong is. Then how come poor old people are not getting a rise?' a spokesman and Society for Community Organisation social worker Yung Wai-mui said. The current monthly welfare figure is $1,935 and will be adjusted to about $2,060 starting next month for inflation. The protesters demanded another $300 and an eventual rise to $2,900.