Amid heavy criticism inside and outside the chamber, the Legislative Council approved the government's HK$5 billion cash injection into the Community Care Fund. Of the 46 legislators attending the finance committee meeting yesterday, 27 voted in favour of the funding, while six were against and 12 abstained after a three-hour debate. The chairman does not vote. The ballot should have been cast on May 6 on the government's share of the HK$10 billion fund - which was supposed to be matched by the private sector - but was deferred because too many lawmakers questioned the private sector's shortfall. Ministers said last week that only HK$680 million had been secured from the business sector so far, with another HK$1.12 billion pledged. 'Why should we give you the HK$5 billion now? It was expected to be a matched fund but you only have HK$680 million now,' People Power lawmaker Wong Yuk-man said. Echoing the stance taken by the Democratic Party and Civic Party, accountancy sector lawmaker Paul Chan Mo-po said he had not supported injecting the full HK$5 billion in one go. 'Now that we have handed over all the money, the committee will not be able to vet projects initiated by the fund,' Chan said. The committee must approve all funding for government projects involving HK$10 million or more. Many lawmakers also criticised the fund's planned schemes, especially one involving HK$165.9 million that would give up to HK$3,000 each to 240,000 poor children for study travel. 'There are a lot of things that can be done with HK$3,000. Using the money to buy a computer or attend private tutorials are more reasonable ideas,' education legislator Cheung Man-kwong said. Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung of the pro-establishment group Economic Synergy, who supported the funding, said an overseas study tour was a good way to use the money. 'These study tours allow children to widen their vision and see how people in other places live and do their jobs,' he said. 'There are many things that you cannot learn in classrooms and through the internet,' Outside the chamber, Liberal Party honorary chairman James Tien Pei-chun said lots of companies were reluctant to donate as they knew little about the fund. 'Companies want to get involved, or at least know where their money is going when they make a donation,' he said. Director of the Society for Community Organisation Ho Hei-wah, a non-official member of the fund, said it was sad to see lawmakers politicising the alleviation of poverty.