Go to main content
Transcript of remarks by SLW on Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme
     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, on the Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme (the Scheme) after meeting with members of the Alliance for Social Protection of Low Income Families today (September 19):
Reporter: After the meeting today …... what are the reasons for the lower-than-expected number of applications that the Bureau has received? What actions could be taken?
Secretary for Labour and Welfare: We have to analyse carefully the reasons for the relatively low turnout rate. It could be a combination of reasons. First of all, the projections we made two years ago may not be entirely correct because, over the last two years, some families' wages might have already increased, exceeding the level required. Secondly, we don't know the assets of individual families in Hong Kong. We don't know their assets at all. Therefore, some families may have their assets above the eligibility limit. All these are the factors that we need to find out. But more importantly, I think the immediate measure is for us to enhance the Scheme, to make the Scheme more user-friendly, and also to step up publicity, promotion, and to provide more outreaching service to the frontline and the grassroots level. That's why I have already introduced a measure whereby staff of the Working Family Allowance Office will go down to job centres and Social Welfare Department offices to man counters and help people understand more about the Scheme and to help people fill in the forms. We'll also work closely with the NGOs (non-governmental organisations) concerned to step up outreaching efforts. In the meantime, we have also started looking at simplifying the application form to make it really user-friendly. And in the longer term, we need to review the Scheme as a whole in a year's time, which is May next year. But we won't wait until May. In fact, we start reviewing now by gathering data, with a view to providing enough data for the actual review coming up in May next year. In the May review, we will also take into account not only this Scheme, but also the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme, which has a similar purpose of encouraging employment.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Monday, September 19, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:24
Today's Press Releases