Commission on Poverty convenes 23rd meeting in its second term
At the meeting, the CoP noted the progress of implementation of various assistance programmes of the Community Care Fund (CCF) and the CCF's financial position. The CoP also endorsed to renew the $5 billion being placed with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for investment for another term on maturity of the deposit in June this year. Since its establishment in 2011, the CCF has approved 36 assistance programmes, benefiting about 1.51 million people. As at the end of this February, the total commitment of approved projects has exceeded $7 billion and the Fund has a balance of $19.837 billion. In addition, the CoP agreed to extend for two school years from 2017/18 till 2018/19 the programme of providing a hostel subsidy for needy undergraduate students and the programme of increasing the academic expenses grant under the Financial Assistance Scheme for Post-secondary Students. The two programmes will continue to operate on existing parameters. The extension of the two programmes will benefit about 6 500 and 18 000 students each year respectively. In the 2017/18 school year, each eligible student can receive a hostel subsidy up to $9,040 and/or an additional academic expenses grant up to $2,250. Taking into account the unspent provisions of the two programmes, their extension requires additional funding of $57.7 million and $25.95 million respectively. The revised total provisions are $194.7 million and $176.95 million respectively.
Representatives from the Food and Health Bureau and the Sham Shui Po District Office briefed members on bazaar development and the experience of organising bazaars in certain districts. Members expressed views on aspects including the effectiveness of bazaars in district-based poverty alleviation and creation of employment opportunities.
In addition, members noted an information paper entitled "Supplementary Poverty Line Analysis: Expenditure Patterns of Poor Households in 2015". Based on the results of the 2014/15 Household Expenditure Survey, the Economic Analysis and Business Facilitation Unit under the Financial Secretary's Office and the Census and Statistics Department compiled data on the expenditure patterns of poor households to provide supplementary reference for the poverty line analysis. The information paper has been uploaded to the CoP's dedicated website (www.povertyrelief.gov.hk) for public reference.
Ends/Monday, April 3, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:06
Issued at HKT 19:06