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Court of Final Appeal's CSSA Decision; Chun Tok School Complaints (20 Dec 2013)

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A court ruling this week has potentially far reaching effects for Hong Kong’s social welfare system, its immigration policy, and for tax payers. Due to the Court of Final Appeal’s verdict new immigrants who have lived in Hong Kong for one year are now eligible for government welfare through Comprehensive Social Security Assistance or CSSA. The verdict rules that the Government’s policy, which came into effect on 1 January 2004 requiring all recipients of CSSA to have been a Hong Kong resident for seven years, is unconstitutional. It says that according to the Basic Law, as interpreted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in 1999, mainland children born to Hong Kong permanent residents have the right to live in Hong Kong for family reunion under the 150 a day One-Way-permit or OWP scheme. However, if the government rules out the new arrivals right to CSSA it contradicts the objective of that scheme. The original case was brought up by a mainland woman Kong Yunming, who came to Hong Kong on a one-way permit to reunite with her husband in December 2005. Unfortunately, he died one day after her arrival in the territory, and she immediately found herself homeless when the Housing Authority repossessed her late husband’s public housing unit. With us in the studio are Professsor Nelson Chow of the University of Hong Kong, Karen Kong from the Faculty of Law, also at the University of Hong Kong, and Richard Tsoi of the Society for Community Organization In October, the Education Bureau said that its investigation had confirmed four abuse complaints against the Chun Tok school for the hearing-impaired. There had been more complaints, dating back to 1992. Parents of children at the school are not only dissatisfied with the limited scope of the government response, but insist that not enough is being done about what they say is a pattern of harassment.

Program: 
The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, December 20, 2013
Station: 
RTHK
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