Even though the government has set aside $30 billion for the Anti-epidemic Fund while the Financial Secretary’s Budget Announcement publicized many large-scale relief measures, these measures did not cover the unemployed. We request the government to expand its relief measures to support the unemployed as follow:
Provide assistance fund to the unemployed
The government should provide assistance fund for at least 3 months at no less than $6,000/month to each unemployed recipient and shorten the approval time to assist those who lost their jobs, have no income or are underemployed during the virus outbreak.
Create government jobs
In 2003 after the SARS epidemic the government created 30,000 jobs and we urge the government to do something similar this time around and hire suitable unemployed personnel to join the fight against the virus. For example, hire them to clean various districts, support those families in quarantine and help administer quarantine centers as well as other related jobs.
Implement two cash subsidy schemes under the Community Care Fund
Back in January the Chief Executive promoted two time-limited cash allowances schemes for both the unemployed and the underemployed and the task force of the Community Care Fund is responsible to draft the details. As the earliest these handouts will be given out will be October, we urge the government to provide sufficient staff and give these payouts to those with immediate financial difficulties as soon as possible.
Make the “Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme” more flexible
The “Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme” is open for application from March 23rd and each eligible retail store will receive a one-off subsidy of $80,000. We suggest the government to make the scheme more flexible so as to allow unconventional retail sectors such as beauty, hairdressing and so on to apply for funding through this scheme.
Expand the “first-hire-then-train” training scheme
The government provides subsidies and promotes the “first-hire-then-train” approach in elderly service and construction industry to solve the problem of understaffed, enhance the overall calibre of the industries and attracts young people interested in professional services and skills acquisition. We urge the government to expand the scope to cover different industries such as catering, hotel, tourism and publishing industries to provide the unemployed young people more chances to get employed or undergo skills training.
Media Inquiries: Legislative Councilor Vincent Cheng (6373 1979)、Frankie Ngan (6600 2511)