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Launching Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme to encourage self-reliance

Today, the Government announced details of the Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme. The Scheme is in keeping with the pledge I made in my Manifesto and was formally put forward in last year's Policy Address. I am glad that it is now being implemented. The Scheme is expected to start receiving applications from May 2016 onwards and the allowance, which will be dated back to November this year, will be disbursed in phases.

Poverty alleviation is one of the four policy priorities of the current-term Government. Hong Kong people believe in self-reliance. With appropriate policies, the low-income group can be incentivized to take up employment and get out of poverty. This can also ease labour shortage in Hong Kong.

We expect the Scheme to benefit 200 000 low-income working families, comprising a total of 700 000 people who include 170 000 eligible children or youths. It involves an estimated expenditure of about $3 billion each year, and will hopefully cut the overall poverty rate and child poverty rate by 2 and 4.2 percentage points respectively.

November 24, 2015