Low-income families should get government help to access the internet so their children's schoolwork, which is increasingly Web-based, will not suffer, a welfare organisation said. The call came from the Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre after it and several other organisations surveyed 410 low-income families to find out if they had sufficient resources to allow their children adequate access to the internet. The survey found that even when some poorer families slashed spending, including food budgets, children still were not getting enough access to the Web to avoid penalties at school. The survey found that more than 70 per cent of primary and secondary school pupils were required to finish homework by using the Net, including online exercises and projects that require research. While the majority of interviewees spent between HK$100 and HK$200 a month on internet services, 70 per cent said they had to cut back on food spending and other outgoings to afford it. Mrs Cheung, a single parent and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipient, said she skipped breakfast to save the HK$157 monthly cost of internet access for her three children, who were in Form Three, Primary Six and Primary Three. And despite the public internet facilities provided at libraries and community centres, about 70 per cent of interviewees said they were insufficient. More than 70 per cent also said the short time they were allowed to use public internet facilities was inadequate for children to finish homework. Some 60 per cent of families had never heard of the government's computer-recycling programme. The programme caters to 20,000 CSSA or School Textbook Assistance (STA) recipients but there are more than 200,000 recipients of the two assistance schemes. The survey organisers urged the government to include an internet allowance in CSSA and STA funding.