The South China Morning Post reports that a resident living in an 80 square foot cubicle took the government to court over insufficient welfare assistance. His subdivided room cost 1700$ a month, but his rent allowance is only 1440$. The amount was adjusted last year for the first time since 2003 and 11,800 households are demanding the government offer support that relates to market prices.
This court action is of great interest to refugees who are seeking High Court leave to judicially review the Social Welfare Department’s failure to meet their basic material needs. It is noteworthy that the Legal Aid Department approved the above case that has similarities with the filings Vision First is currently coordinating. We are hopeful that the High Court will intervene where the Legislative Council failed.
Refugees are disappointed that the Legislative Council failed to take timely action in their rescue. Promises were made at the LegCo Panel on Welfare meeting in July that another session would be held two months later and that an enhanced package would be urgently formulated. Nothing happened. Four months later not a word has been heard from the administration that continues studying the obvious.
Conversely, two weeks after lodging applications for judicial review, there appears to be widespread interest in a process that bypasses administrative lethargy to seek court judgment on whether refugees suffer destitution through government malfeasance. The question is simple: Does the current welfare package prevent destitution? Evidence proves the answer is “No” and urgent change are required.
It is reported that ISS-HK is unnerved by the impending legal attack. They know they dropped the ball. Legal Aid is contacting ISS-HK for full disclosure on each applicant. Questions are asked how refugees were expected to survive on so little. Some case workers are offering guesthouse rooms to the homeless. Others are meeting clients at 10am to search for rooms for 1500$, sometimes 1800$.
The rope of retribution dangles from the scaffolding.
The noose will be tightened around the neck of those who failed to carry out their professional duties. Files will be produced in court to show how refugees suffered: rent unpaid, extortionary utility bills, lack of clothes and household items, eviction notices, gold necklaces pawned, photos of refugee ghettos, countless complaint letter to ISS ignored, unanswered, never passed on to the Social Welfare Dept.
2014 will witness the collapse of the SWD-ISS Construct of Oppression. We shall suffer no more!
The wrecking ball will carry KISSES FROM VISION FIRST!
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