DAB Legislative Councillors met with the Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung and submitted four main proposals to expand the scope of the Anti-epidemic Fund (“the Fund”).
1. Quickly announce the implementation details of the first phase of the Fund and strengthen the announcement arrangements.
It has been nearly two weeks since the Legislative Council Finance Committee approved the Fund. No concrete arrangements of the measures have been announced and many industries are at risks of closing down without receiving any assistance. Therefore, the government should quickly announce the measures in detail. In regards to the announced measures, many industries reported that they have not received any official notifications from the government and have only learned of the funding via media. Official release of information needs to be improved so that relevant industries can learn of the details in good time.
2. Expand the scope of the Fund.
Currently, many industries are not covered by the Fund. We urge the government to expand the scope of the Fund to cover industries of beauty, laundry, food suppliers, private kindergartens, children education centers, cross-border transportation, IT, real estate agents and mechanical engineering industries to prevent a large-scale shutdowns or layoffs. Also, the government should provide special subsidies to workers at private residential care homes and expand the scope of the Hardship Allowance to cover all cleansing workers and security guards as they are all involved in anti-epidemic work.
3. Encourage property owners to cut rents by offering a 200% tax deduction.
We propose the government to provide a 200% tax deductions for property owners so as to encourage them to cut rents and stand alongside their tenants to navigate these difficult times together.
4. Set up a fund for the unemployed during adversity.
We request the government to set up a fund to assist the unemployed, underemployed and those taking leave without pay to tide over this difficult time.
Media Inquiries: Starry LEE, DAB Chairperson 7770 0820