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Hong Kong launches transport subsidy plan to help low-income group

(Xinhua)

14:24, October 02, 2011

HONG KONG, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government launched the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme to help ease the transport expenses of members of low-income households, the government said Sunday.

According to the Information Services Department of the HKSAR government, the move also aimed to promote sustainable employment and make Hong Kong more productive.

James Yeung, the chief executive officer of the Labor Department Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Division, said applicants must be employed or self-employed, and lawfully employable in Hong Kong. They must also pay transport fares and meet the monthly income and asset limits of the scheme.

Qualified applicants will receive a full-rate subsidy of 600 HK dollars (77 U.S. dollars) per month if they work no less than 72 hours a month. A half-rate subsidy of 300 HK dollars (38.5 U.S. dollars) will be given to those who work less than 72 hours but at least 36 hours.

"We assess eligibility on a monthly basis," Yeung said," So each month the applicant is eligible for the subsidy, they can collect the amount they should receive. It is calculated by calendar month, so one month's eligibility cannot be taken forward to another month."

Subsidy payments will revert back to April this year, meaning applicants who hand in their application in October will receive the subsidy for April to September. They can apply for the subsidy every six to 12 months.

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