Law Chi-kwong reveals bureaucratic delays in handoutLocal | 3 Dec 2019 2:43 pm
The government defended the speed with which the administration is moving to disperse subsidies for needy families it announced in August, saying a complete new mechanism had to be set up, RTHK reports.
The aid which ranges from HK$4,500 for single member families to HK$15,500 for five-or-more-person households, is meant for those who did not benefit from other welfare schemes.
The Carrie Lam administration has said it expects the amount to be handed over by July next year.
Lawmaker Tony Tse raised the issue at Legco's Home Affairs panel, asking why it was taking so long as even the application for the aid will not be accepted until July.
Labour and Welfare Secretary, Law Chi-kwong, said they are already working as quick as they can.
He told the lawmakers they had to set up complete mechanism involving 200 NGOs as it was an one-off payment that will be given through government's Community Care Fund.
Law said there was no staff to handle it as it was not a regular program.
"We are talking about 100,000 households. The secretariat had to find a temporary office and they had to hire a group of people. And they had to provide training to these recruits because they are not regular staff.
"And we also need to use some software to help us do the vetting and carry out the administrative work. It will take time for the software to be out together," the official said.
Law also rejected Ray Chan's suggestion to make this aid a regular program.