The government has no plans to permanently scrap the maids' levy which was suspended for two years earlier this year.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin- chung told a Legislative Council meeting the levy was for the retraining of local workers and that the HK$4.9 billion accumulated so far could only support the work of the Employment Retraining Board for four to five years if the levy was permanently waived.
The HK$400 monthly maid levy has been temporarily suspended as part of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's inflation relief package, from August 1 to July 30, 2010.
However, legislator Lee Cheuk-yan of the Confederation of Trade Union urged the government to permanently waive the levy, adding the Employment Retraining Fund should be funded by the government. Lee said he would submit an amendment seeking to delay the restoration of the levy indefinitely. BEATRICE SIU