Govt expanding travel subsidy scheme


audio Edna Tse reports
Labour Secretary Matthew Cheung. Photo: Edna Tse.
The government plans to widen the eligibility rules for its transport subsidy scheme to enable an extra 40,000 low paid workers to apply for the HK$600 monthly travel allowance. The scheme was announced in the Chief Executive's Policy address last year to relieve the financial burden of poorer families.

Officials now plan to raise the family income eligibility ceiling for a two-person household by HK$1,500 to HK$10,000, and for a three member household by HK$1,000 to HK$13,000. Applications are expected to start from October, with commuters able to recover travel costs back-dated to April.

The proposed changes are expected to benefit an additional 40,000 workers, bringing the total number eligible for the scheme to 370,000. But sources say the government has rejected calls to lower the eligibility criteria below the present minimum requirement of 72 working hours a month.

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