A steady stream of people turned up at government offices today, on the first day applications were accepted for cash handouts of up to HK$4,000 under the "Caring and Sharing Scheme,'' amid complaints and protests, RTHK reports.
The government had simplified the application procedure following a public outcry over a lack of forms and claims the process was too complicated.
Staff were on hand at the government office in Cheung Sha Wan to assist people having difficulties filling in their forms for the money, which is for those who missed out when relief measures were announced in the last budget.
But some people were still unhappy, saying the government should allow electronic applications.
Members of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood also staged a protest outside the Cheung Sha Wan office, calling for a three-month extension to the April 30 deadline for applications.
They said many of those eligible for the handout are students who are studying overseas, and extending the deadline would allow them to apply for the money when they return to Hong Kong for the summer break.