Hong Kong seeks to relax subsidy criteria for low-income workers

The basic subsidy for low-income families, once relaxed, would benefit around 24,000 more underemployed households.
By: | February 10, 2021

The Hong Kong government is looking at relaxing the requirement for subsidies for low-income workers, and to help those who cannot find enough work during the pandemic. 

The basic subsidy for low-income families, once relaxed, would allow around 24,000 more underemployed households to benefit from the scheme for a year, said Labour secretary Law Chi-kwong on Thursday.

Eligible non-single parent families could apply for a monthly subsidy under the Working Family Allowance Scheme if they work at least 72 hours a month, down from the original 144 hours, he said. 

Besides this, the government is also looking to relax the criteria for struggling households to receive food supplies. 

Under the Short-term Food Assistance Service, a four-person family with assets totalling less than HK$548,000 (US$70,690) can apply for the scheme, up from the current limit of HK$264,000 (US$34,055). Meanwhile, the assets cap for the eligibility for a single person to apply will be raised from HK$99,000 (US$12,771) to HK$266,000 (US$34,313).

READ: Hong Kong’s minimum wage to remain at HK$37.50 an hour

Both relief measures are expected to be effective June 1, after the Legislative Council’s finance committee approves the plans.