Lawmakers have criticised Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's proposal to impose a means test for the old age allowance on people aged 70 and above. Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong chairman Tam Yiu-chung said the move 'shows that [Mr Tsang] does not fully understand the demands of the elderly'. He added: 'We will try to arrange meetings for him to talk directly to the elderly.' Mr Tsang said yesterday that raising the old age allowance to HK$1,000 was 'reasonable' but the government had to consider introducing a means test to direct resources to those in 'genuine need'. Wong Sing-chi, of the Democratic Party, which criticised the policy address for lacking new ideas, accused the chief executive of not caring for the elderly. 'He keeps saying HK$1,000 is reasonable but does not increase the allowance and even introduces a means test,' he said. Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, of the Liberal Party, which rated Mr Tsang's work as a 'bare pass', said a means test could only be introduced if the allowance were increased. Giving the policy address 60 marks out of 100, independent Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee agreed with the means-test proposal, saying it could direct resources better. The absence of suggestions to deal with an expected increase in unemployment also attracted criticism. Mr Tam said many sectors would be affected in coming months but there was not much preparation to address local unemployment rates. The Federation of Trade Unions said the government had 'neither assessed nor responded to' the prospect of rising unemployment. Mr Tsang did, however, win some applause for his pledge to legislate on a statutory minimum wage. Unionist Lee Cheuk-yan said he was pleased finally to see such legislation but expressed hopes it would be implemented as soon as possible. The FTU's Wong Kwok-kin said the minimum wage level should not be less than welfare payments. However, Clement Chen Cheng-jen, chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, said he was worried legislation on a statutory minimum wage would cause further unemployment. Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said she was worried about the Tsang administration's ability to implement its policies. 'He did point out the questions in some areas but failed to provide an answer in the policy address,' she said. Business-affiliated legislators Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen and Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun said they were disappointed the government was not helping small businesses deal with liquidity problems following the tightening of credit in the wake of the global financial crisis.