The government will finish reviewing the adjustment to the old-age allowances to elderly Hongkongers by the end of the year, the financial secretary says. In response to a question put forward by an elderly person at a forum at the book fair in Wan Chai, John Tsang Chun-wah said yesterday that the government had been paying attention to the old-age-allowance issue. He also believed the existing allowances catered for the needs of the majority of the elderly. One person at the forum repeatedly urged the government to increase the allowance and hand out HK$1,000 to those who had not applied for it. Mr Tsang said the government would look into the issue and review whether allowances should be increased. The result was expected by the end of this year. People aged 65 and above must stay in Hong Kong for at least 240 days every year to be eligible for the allowance, also called 'fruit money'. It ranges from HK$625 to HK$705 a month. Earlier, a relief package worth HK$8.5 million was approved by legislators to help low-income groups. It included HK$1.87 billion for an extra payment to the recipients of social security and disability allowances and an extra two months' payment to 470,000 recipients of old-age allowances. Calls for an increase in the old-age allowance have been spurred by concern that inflation could impoverish many people and even trigger social unrest in Hong Kong as it has in several countries.