A call to help jobless social security recipients find work was supported. Tam Yiu-chung, an Executive Councillor and member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, rejected the idea that people receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments were lazy. Mr Tam said: 'People who have hair don't want to be bald. No one wants to receive social security payments. This is just the only way left when you have no choice.' Of all social security recipients last year, nine per cent, or 16,300 were unemployed. That compared with 3.9 per cent or 3,500 in 1993. Mr Tam suggested the Government give jobless recipients priority for retraining and provide more support services such as child care. Choy So-yuk of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance said the increase in recipients was placing a heavy financial burden on the Government. 'We will have a welfare state if social security becomes the dole,' she said. Ms Choy suggested payments to those not willing to find work be stopped. But Mr Tam said it was unfair to restrict payments simply because the number of applications had surged. 'Refusing to help the needy is not something a society with heart should do, particularly when the unemployment rate is increasing,' he said. Mr Tam said allowances should be provided to those taking work that paid less than the benefits they had received. He also called on the Health and Welfare Bureau to give the provisional legislature a review of the scheme.