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[Wuhan Pneumonia] Why Unemployment Protection Failed to Rescue the Approaching Fire?


In order to subsidize the unemployed under the new pneumonia epidemic, the government asked the government to set up unemployment assistance. Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong wrote a blog on Sunday (23rd) stating that unemployment assistance requires contributions or / and review

01 perspective

Written by: Comment Editor

2020-02-25 12:00

Last updated: 2020-02-25 12:00

In order to subsidize the unemployed under the new pneumonia epidemic, the government asked the government to set up unemployment assistance. The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong, wrote a blog on Sunday (23), stating that unemployment assistance requires contributions or / and review, but no one wants to discuss it seriously. He believes that the aid will involve a large number of administrative procedures, and it is difficult to solve the urgent needs.

However, in fact, Hong Kong has experienced various economic and social crises. The government should prepare early in times of economic prosperity to deal with the risks of the labor market, rather than just sighing that distant water cannot save the fire. Furthermore, many countries and regions have similar policies, which the Hong Kong Government can refer to.

The rise in the unemployment rate is no surprise. With the worst intentions, the ratio rose to 8.7% in mid-2003, and about 300,000 people were unemployed, which is 2.45 times the current 122,000 people. Even if it only rises to 5%, the unemployed population will rise to about 200,000. Taking into account the families of the unemployed, it is estimated that one tenth of the Hong Kong population is involved. If the pneumonia epidemic continues for another year and a half, I believe many families will fall into economic difficulties.

Unemployed CSSA can't help

The whole society is also clamoring for the government to send money. Although the money can be rescued in a short time and involves less administrative procedures, the money cannot be targeted to the need groups, and the help to unemployed families is limited. Looking around the existing government policies, only the unemployment CSSA project can help, but the qualifications for the unemployment CSSA application are strict. Based on sound members, the asset limit for a family of four is 88,000 yuan, and only a few are eligible.

Even if the long-term service payment and severance payment borne by the employer can cover part of the unemployment protection function, it is heard when the company "goes" without paying severance payment, and the long-term service payment cannot protect employees with less than five years of service, and does not include layoffs. Compensation. Furthermore, up to now, the two types of funds can still be "hedged" with the MPF, weakening employee retirement protection.

Some political parties and trade unions have proposed to set up unemployment benefits as soon as possible to supplement the shortage of CSSA. Although in the short term, as Luo Zhiguang said, administrative work will inevitably be heavy, and if it is to be released next year, it will be difficult to relieve the eyebrows. But in the long run, the current situation also reflects that Hong Kong must always study and establish a better unemployment protection policy.

Unemployment insurance has long been discussed

During the financial tsunami, scholars and members of the Legislative Council all proposed the establishment of unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is different from similar CSSA unemployment benefits. The former is an income assistance scheme that receives a certain percentage of the original income's insurance within a specified period of time (eg, 70% of the income from the previous job in 12 months, the upper limit is Median wages), without asset review, contributions can come from regular contributions from governments, employers, and employees to share expenses and risks. The latter aims at poverty alleviation, has an asset review, and provides only the minimum income and cannot help the middle-income unemployed.

Luo Zhiguang said that no one is willing to discuss unemployment protection seriously, but it is not true. In 1995, the British and Hong Kong governments rejected the unemployment assistance system and believed that finding a job was the way out. During the Asian financial turmoil, the government cut the amount of CSSA twice. By the time of the financial tsunami and the review of the MPF hedging mechanism, the government remained unmoved. For example, the government released a vision report on poverty alleviation work and retirement protection in January 2017, categorically negating public subsidy for unemployment insurance, arguing that disguised encouragement of prolonged unemployment would make the labor supply tight.

The government thinks that raising unemployment protection will dampen job intentions, but in fact, unemployment insurance may have a certain control mechanism. A report released by the International Labor Organization last year pointed out that countries and regions that implement unemployment insurance also have varying degrees of monitoring and punishment systems to prevent people from abusing unemployment insurance and maintain motivation to find work, such as going to employment centers every other month or quarter, or in After the second rejection of the application or training, the subsidy (eg Germany, France, Japan) must be reduced (such as Finland, Denmark) and the qualifications should be suspended. When designing unemployment insurance in Hong Kong, we can refer to the control methods in other places. Furthermore, in view of the diligence of Hong Kong people at work to support their families, the number of overtime hours can be said to be "famous" in the world. I believe that there are only a few abusers.

Officials often say that peace is in dire straits, but unemployment protection is sufficient proof that they are talking empty words. If the government learns the lessons of the financial tsunami, and when the economy improves in the next few years, it will start reforming social security policies and lobbying the business community and citizens to set up social insurance to improve the unemployment assistance system. These security axes can now come in handy.

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Source: hk1

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