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Welfare cases dip 0.2%

The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload dropped by 459 cases to 199,941 in January, down 0.2% from December last year, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients was 273,349.   Low-earnings cases registered a month-to-month reduction of 0.8% to 1,568. Unemployment cases fell 0.6% to 17,075.   Single parent cases dropped 0.5% to 20,385. Old age cases dipped 0.3% to 112,032.   Meanwhile, ill-health cases increased 0.3% to 27,817, and permanent disability cases remained steady at 17,164. http://dlvr.it/T32R7Z

Road maintenance briefing held

The Transport Advisory Committee was briefed on road maintenance and streetscape enhancement works and given an update on car parking initiatives by the Government at a meeting today.   The Highways Department has been researching, developing and applying new technologies to enhance the efficiency and safety of road maintenance works as existing roads are beginning to age.   The department has carried out beautification works at bridges and subways with a high pedestrian flow at prominent locations since 2017 by drawing up thematic designs and adding some featured patterns onto the structures to echo the character of the surrounding environment.   Committee Chairman Prof Stephen Cheung said it supports the department to research, develop and apply new technologies in road maintenance works, including using more durable road paving materials and the intelligent robotic system as well as looks forward to more new technologies being put into application.   He added that the committee was pleased to note that the beautification works for highway structures and lamp posts not only enhance the streetscape but also create temporary jobs to alleviate unemployment under the pandemic.   For the provision of parking spaces, the Government's policy is to accord priority to meeting parking demand for commercial vehicles. It is also for the provision of an appropriate number of private car parking spaces if overall development permits, but without attracting public transport passengers to switch to private cars so as to avoid aggravating road traffic.   Prof Cheung said that the committee welcomes the Government’s ongoing endeavours under the current policy to pursue a host of measures to increase the provision of parking spaces and enhance the existing ones, including the revision on the standards of parking provision.   It also agreed that the Transport Department should review the standards at regular intervals to match the social and economic changes, he added.
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