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Commission on Poverty convenes first meeting in its second term

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, chaired the first meeting of the Commission on Poverty (CoP) in its second term this afternoon (December 12). The analysis of the poverty situation of persons with disability (PWDs) in Hong Kong in 2013, operation of the Community Care Fund (CCF) and its new assistance programme, as well as the future consultation on retirement protection in Hong Kong were discussed.

     Adopting the analytical framework of the poverty line, the Government Economist and Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) conducted a detailed analysis on the poverty situation of PWDs in Hong Kong in 2013, based on the data collected from a thematic survey on PWDs under the General Household Survey conducted by C&SD in 2013. Members took note of the findings. The Government Economist and C&SD will soon publish the report on the poverty situation of PWDs in Hong Kong in 2013.

     At today's meeting, members also raised some issues for further study and gave views on support measures for poor PWDs.  The Special Needs Groups Task Force under the CoP will follow up the CoP's discussion and explore the feasibility of the suggested supporting measures. The Task Force will report to the CoP on its deliberations as and when necessary.

     In addition, the CoP endorsed to increase the provision for "Elderly Dental Assistance Programme" (Programme) under CCF to benefit more needy elders with the dental service subsidy.  The CoP agreed to progressively expand the target beneficiaries of the Programme to Old Age Living Allowance recipients, firstly to those who aged 80 or above (involving some 130 000 elderly persons), and subsequently to elders under other age groups having regard to the implementation progress of the Programme and the overall situation. The extended Programme is preliminarily set to be a three-year one to subsidise needy elders for dentures and other related dental services. The scope and level of subsidy of the extended Programme would be similar to that under the existing exercise. The provision for the extended Programme will amount to around $805.14 million. The Hong Kong Dental Association will make preparation for the extend Programme in first half of 2015 with a view to accepting applications in second half of 2015.

     Following CoP's agreement to conduct a public consultation on retirement protection in Hong Kong at the meeting on November 24, members continued the discussion on the detailed arrangements for the consultation at today's meeting. Members also noted that the Government would set out the way forward in Policy Address 2015 after considering members' views.

Ends/Friday, December 12, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:16


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