29th October, 2014
7,600 New CSSA Applications Since Court of Final Appeal’s Verdict in 2013
On 17th December, 2013 The Court of Final Appeal ruled that a seven-year residence requirement for applicants of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) was unconstitutional, and the requirement has been dropped to one year. At the Legislative Council today, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung told the legislators that as at 30th September, 2014, the Social Wealth Department hae received 7,639 CSSA applications from applicants who were above 18 and had lived in Hong Kong for only one year, and 6,696 applications of these have been approved. Cheung explained that since the Court’s verdict has only been effective for less than a year, the Bureau needs more time to evaluate the financial impact of the verdict.
Legislators have expressed their concern over the 150 one-way-permit daily quota as many of those people who come on with this permit apply for CSSA soon after they arrive in Hong Kong and the legislators have urged the government to reduce the quota. Cheung said that since the approval process of the Permit is controlled by China’s relevant department in order to allow people living in China to reunite with their families in Hong Kong orderly, the HKSAR Government has no reason to propose any change.