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Commission on Poverty convenes seventh meeting

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, chaired the seventh meeting of the Commission on Poverty (CoP) this afternoon (September 13).

     Today's meeting mainly discussed assistance programmes under the Community Care Fund (CCF). The CoP endorsed a new assistance programme, "Incentive Scheme to Further Encourage Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Recipients of the Integrated Employment Assistance Programme for Self-reliance (IEAPs) to Secure Employment". It also agreed to adjust the subsidy amount under two existing assistance programmes. The details are as follows:

(1) A three-year pilot programme, entitled "Incentive Scheme to Further Encourage CSSA Recipients of the Integrated Employment Assistance Programme for Self-reliance to Secure Employment", will be launched in April 2014. The CCF will provide an incentive grant to recipients matching the accumulative non-deductible earnings when the latter reaches the incentive target (two times the asset limit of the household). The recipients will leave the CSSA net upon receipt of the full incentive grant in one go. Recipients whose accumulative earnings reach or exceed 1.5 times the asset limit of the household at the expiry of the pilot programme can still receive the incentive grant accumulated throughout the programme. Non-governmental organisations that operate the IEAPs will assist the implementation of the programme. It is expected that some 2 050 unemployed CSSA recipients would join the programme and the estimated provision is $226.62 million.

(2) The subsidy ceiling of the "Elderly Dental Assistance Programme" will be raised for each participating elderly person in dental treatment from the existing $9,095 to $12,015. Taking into consideration the subsidy required for some 700 referral cases, the remainder of the original provision of $100 million could benefit some 7 000 elderly after the adjustment of the subsidy ceiling. Raising the subsidy amount is meant to encourage more dentists to participate in this assistance programme so that eligible elderly citizens can enjoy better services. The CoP also agreed that the CCF Task Force should continue to explore expansion of the scope of eligibility so as to benefit more elderly in need.

(3) The income limit of one-person households under "Relocation Allowance for Eligible Residents of Sub-divided Units in Industrial Buildings Who Would Have to Move Out As a Result of the Buildings Department's Enforcement Action" will be adjusted from 75 per cent to 100 per cent of median monthly household income. The CoP also agreed to raise the subsidy amount for one-person households to $2,500, for two- and three-person households to $5,500 and for households with four persons or more to $7,100.

     In addition, the CoP took note of the progress of the existing 23 assistance programmes and the evaluation of effectiveness for some of the programmes.

Ends/Friday, September 13, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:28


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