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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

New HZMB arrangement set

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today announced that the arrangement for Hong Kong-Macau cross-boundary goods vehicles using the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) will be implemented tomorrow, following an agreement between Hong Kong and Macau.   When the cross-boundary logistics transfer facility at the HZMB Macau Port starts operation tomorrow, Hong Kong goods vehicles can transport goods from Hong Kong to the Macau Port transfer facility using the HZMB as well as transport goods from Macau back to Hong Kong.   In return, Macau goods vehicles can transport goods to the logistics facilities at Hong Kong International Airport via the HZMB as well as transport goods from Hong Kong back to Macau.   The Hong Kong SAR Government said the new arrangement will provide greater convenience for the trade to deliver goods between the two places, while the clientele of the airport's logistics facilities can be expanded with the usage by the Macau goods vehicles.   Chief Executive John Lee noted that the new measure is conducive to the exchanges between the two places and within the Greater Bay Area, stimulating economic activities and enhancing integration, adding that the governments of both places have signed an agreement on it.   “It is also a new important initiative to strengthen the logistics facilities of the two places, thereby bringing more convenience and greater benefits to the cross-boundary goods transportation between Hong Kong and Macau which mainly rely on sea transport currently.”   Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung supplemented that Hong Kong goods vehicles going to the Macau Port transfer facility via the HZMB will enjoy an exemption of the Macau business tax registration and taxes for vehicle circulation.   Hong Kong drivers are also exempted from obtaining the Macau driving licence, he said, adding that the initial daily cap for Hong Kong goods vehicles travelling to Macau is set at around 400 trips.
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