Social security net to be boosted

November 25, 2020

(To watch the 2020 Policy Address speech with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government will enhance Hong Kong’s social security safety net to further support the unemployed, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today.


Delivering her 2020 Policy Address, Mrs Lam said the Government will extend the Special Scheme of Assistance to the Unemployed under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme for six months until May 31 next year.


Under the special scheme, the asset limits for able-bodied applicants are relaxed by 100%.


The Government will also implement a new arrangement for the CSSA Scheme. Under the arrangement, the cash value of insurance policies owned by able-bodied applicants will be disregarded for the asset test for one year, she said.


Alleviating burden

Mrs Lam said she will extend the special temporary measure that relaxes the monthly public transport expenses threshold under the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme from $400 to $200 for six months until June 30, 2021.


The Government will continue to provide a subsidy amounting to one-third of the monthly public transport expenses in excess of $200, subject to a cap of $400 per month. About 3.8 million commuters will benefit per month.


After discussion with the Government, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation has also decided to extend the 20% fare discount, which is supposed to cease at the end of the year, for three months.


Additionally, the Short-term Food Assistance Service Projects, launched in 2009 to support those who have difficulties with their daily food expenditure, will become a permanent service from August 2021.


The Government has earmarked $415 million to meet its recurrent expenditure, Mrs Lam added.

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