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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Government has launched a special plan under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme to help the unemployed who are facing temporary financial hardship, Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said today.

Dr Law told lawmakers that in the wake of the tremendous challenge brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to Hong Kong’s employment condition and overall economy, the Government has implemented a host of measures to create and stabilise employment and assist affected people.

He noted that the number of CSSA unemployment cases significantly increased from the beginning of the year with an average of 16,864 cases per month from January to September, which was 43% higher than the average from the same period in 2019.

The number of cases in September was 19,024, which was the highest in the past six years.

Dr Law pointed out the figures showed that the CSSA is useful in assisting the unemployed who are facing temporary financial hardship.

Having regard to the severe employment situation, he said the Government has, after securing funding approval from the Legislative Council Finance Committee on the anti-epidemic measures in April 2020, launched the six-month Special Scheme of Assistance to the Unemployed.

According to the special scheme, the asset limits for able-bodied people have been temporarily relaxed by 100% for six months from June 1. The value of their family’s owner-occupied residential property will also be disregarded for a grace period of 12 months according to the established mechanism.

The Government subsequently obtained approval from the Finance Committee to extend the special scheme for another six months to May 31, 2021.

It will monitor the situation closely and will consider providing further assistance to people in need in a timely manner, Dr Law added.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News