26 OCT 2012
Wellbeing of poor seniors should be priority, says Oxfam Discussion on Old Age Living Allowance funding should resume promptly
Oxfam Hong Kong is disappointed that the adjournment motion for the Old Age Living Allowance debate was passed at the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee today. Because of this decision, over 400,000 seniors in need have lost a monthly subsidy of $2,200 that would help make their lives better and easier.
Oxfam believes that the purpose of the Old Age Living Allowance is alleviating poverty. Targeted beneficiaries should be seniors who have financial difficulties and are in greater need of assistance. Therefore, there is a need for some form of income and assets declaration so that this measure can effectively identify seniors in need and provide targeted assistance. Oxfam urges the SAR Government and members of the Legislative Council to move forward in the best interest of poor seniors, return to the discussion table as soon as possible, and approve the funding request for the Old Age Living Allowance. Only by doing so can seniors in need receive timely assistance. This is also the first step towards alleviating the plight of poor elderly people in our society.
Should the Old Age Living Allowance be approved in the future, Oxfam calls on the Government to further review the subsidy level to ensure that the basic needs of seniors are being met. In the long term, the Government should explore a sustainable retirement protection scheme that enables a redistribution of resources, so that all retired seniors, particularly those who are poor, can live in dignity without having to rely on CSSA. This will ensure that all seniors in our society will be taken care of in their later years.
Oxfam is dedicated to fighting poverty and inequity worldwide. The international and independent development and humanitarian organisation tackles poverty in four main ways: sustainable development in poor communities, disaster relief, local and global advocacy, and education with Hong Kong youth. Established in Hong Kong in 1976, Oxfam Hong Kong is a founding member of Oxfam, an international confederation that has assisted poor people in 92 countries. Oxfam Hong Kong alone has supported poor people in over 70 countries/regions.
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