CE announces livelihood initiatives

January 14, 2020

(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam today announced 10 new initiatives to improve people’s livelihood in the face of an economic downturn and rising unemployment rate.


At a press conference, Mrs Lam said the measures, which will incur $10 billion in recurrent government expenditure, reflect its commitment to help the disadvantaged and the elderly.


“These livelihood improvement measures are now estimated on a very preliminary basis to require about $10 billion recurrent expenditure. That represents about 2% of the total operating expenditure of the Government.


“But it also reflects our commitment to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged people and the elderly. I think we should not look at it in terms of short-term deficits. By the way, these measures are supported by the Financial Secretary himself."


The Chief Executive said the Government will not be hindered by concerns over fiscal deficits in implementing the measures that are considered justified.


“So on the one hand, we have a lot of aspirations from society about more work to be done by the Government in improving the livelihood of these people, so that they can share the benefits of economic growth.


“But to say that because we are now having an economic recession, that is why although we feel that these are justified measures, that we would not do it because of worries over fiscal deficits, I do not think that is a very positive way of dealing with the situation.”


Mrs Lam called on citizens to have confidence in Hong Kong overcoming its current difficulties.


"At the end of the day, I think we should and I would advocate that we should have confidence in Hong Kong. Hong Kong will rebound after these months of social unrest and we have a lot of opportunities in front of us that will give us more economic growth in the time to come to enable us to afford these measures to support the livelihood of the disadvantaged, so that is the position that we take."


Citing the initiative to lower the eligible age for the $2 transport fare concession scheme from the current 65 to 60 as an example, Mrs Lam said there was a breakthrough in the Government’s thinking.


“Of the 10 measures that we now propose, I am sure you will be able to find our previous different positions on some of these measures from expressing reservations to perhaps even resisting those proposals or aspirations from the political parties or members of the public.


“But I have to say that we are having sort of a breakthrough in our thinking - that we should be listening more to the people, we should display more humility, that instead of we are right always, we should listen to the people to what they have to tell us in terms of ensuring that Hong Kong will be a more inclusive and harmonious society and that different sectors of society will be able to share the benefits of Hong Kong’s economic growth and prosperity.”

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