The spread of the coronavirus is ongoing and classes are suspended. Many parents are worried about the impact on their children’s studies and arrangements for the resumption of classes. On the other hand, some businesses have requested staff to take unpaid leave. All these reflected the severe effects of the epidemic on daily life. The DAB Family Affairs Committee urges the government to provide various emergency measures to support families.
1. Set up a salary subsidy for SME employees
We propose providing a salary subsidy for employees of SMEs to ease their financial burden during the epidemic.
2. Take note of childcare service
We urge the government to discuss feasible childcare service with different sectors to ease the pressure on dual-income families.
3. Quickly announce DSE and mark submission arrangements
The government and the Examinations and Assessment Authority should provide contingency solutions and quickly announce arrangements to ease the worries of parents.
4. Set up home learning arrangements
The Education Bureau should provide guidelines to schools requesting them to optimize the use of electronic platform to disseminate exercises in order to achieve the goal of “suspending classes without suspending learning”.
5. Provide subsidies for school fees and miscellaneous expenses
We urge the government consider paying the school fees, fees for transport, lunch and extracurricular activities of government and aided schools and also Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) schools.
6. Extend the application period for the $2500 student subsidy
Extend the application period for the $2500 student subsidy to two weeks after class resumption.
7. Schools should provide sufficient supplies of anti-contagion products
The government must ensure that all schools organize disinfection and have sufficient supplies of anti-contagion products before class resumption.
8. Hand out free masks to families
The government should follow overseas examples and hand out free masks to all families in Hong Kong, optimize the use of the stock in Government Logistics Department by providing free masks to the disadvantaged, hospitals and other frontline personnel.
The government should update the information about masks and other protective products on a daily basis, such as the progress of global procurement, quantities reaching Hong Kong and their distribution in the market. The government should reach agreements with retailers to implement a purchase limit so that the general public is able to buy masks and other preventive products.
9. Fund mask production in local factories
Implement ways to assist local mask production to ease the shortage.
10. Speed up the procurement of anti-contagion products
Assist local suppliers to speed up the searching of new sources and procurement of masks and anti-contagion products.
11. Raise the maternity leave pay
Lengthening maternity leave to 14 weeks is still yet to be discussed in LegCo and we urge raising the maternity leave to full pay.
12. Establish tax deductions for hiring domestic helpers
Help the middle class and families with seniors and children.
13. Increase the Child Allowance
Increase the Child Allowance from $120,000 to $132,000 to make it in line with the basic allowance.
14. Set up a new childcare allowance
Set up a new childcare allowance with at least $600 per month to the eligible families with children aged 3 or younger.
15. Set up children’s health vouchers
Set up $2000 children’s health vouchers for children aged 12 or under or every eligible primary school student per year.
DAB Family Affairs Committee Chairperson Jacqueline Chung 5109 8058
DAB Legislative Councilor Vincent Cheng 6373 1979