Community Care Fund Task Force Chairperson welcomes Budget proposal

The following is issued on behalf of the Community Care Fund Secretariat:

      The Chairperson of the Community Care Fund (CCF) Task Force under the Commission on Poverty, Dr Law Chi-kwong, today (February 27) welcomed the Financial Secretary's proposal in the 2013-14 Budget to inject an additional $15 billion into the CCF.

      Since its establishment in early 2011, the CCF has been providing assistance to people facing economic difficulties, in particular those who fall outside the existing safety net or coverage by the Government's short-term relief measures. The CCF has also effectively implemented measures on a pilot basis to help the Government identify those measures which prove effective for incorporation into regular assistance programmes.

      Dr Law said, "The proposed injection of funds will give greater flexibility to the CCF to further enhance its assistance to the disadvantaged. While the Commission on Poverty will focus on review of policies, the CCF Task Force will work closely with the other task forces and will pilot more trial programmes before new policy initiatives are fully implemented."

      The application period for the "Subsidy for Low-income Persons who are Inadequately Housed" programme under the CCF will end on April 8.

      Dr Law said, "The programme has been effective in reaching out to those colloquially known as the 'n have-nots' and providing them with financial assistance. We understand that due to the programme's definition of 'inadequately housed', quite a number of low-income families living in 'sub-divided units' with individual entrance doors cannot benefit under the programme. The CCF will consider how to assist these people.

      "We will take into account views from the community and the community service units assisting implementation of the programme, and expedite the review of the programme, so that the eligibility criteria can be refined for re-launching the programme. We expect that the CCF can roll out the programme in the latter half of the year to help more low-income people in need."

Ends/Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:23