The DAB’s Proposals for the Policy Address and Budget

2014.10.23

Hong Kong has recently been experiencing serious social unrest, and the SAR Government is facing great challenges in governance. The DAB believes that we must uphold the rule of law, and realize universal suffrage for CE election in accordance with the Basic Law and NPCSC’s decisions. This is the best way for Hong Kong to move out of the current political deadlock. Meanwhile, we consider the Government must not allow political disputes to distract or delay efforts to improve people’s livelihoods and promote economic developments. It must take proactive measures and allocate available resources better so as to eliminate the bottlenecks for social and economic developments. We hope all the stakeholders in the community can overcome their differences and work together for a better future for our children.


We urge the Government to adopt the following measures in the upcoming Policy Address and Budget:


1.Provide interest-free loan up to $300,000 for young people who start up business if their business plans are approved.


2.Develop a border shopping and trading center in the south of Lok Ma Chau. In appropriate private development projects, specify in the relevant land grant conditions that certain amount of commercial floor area must be allocated for small local shops.


3.Continue to apply the Special Concessionary Measures under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme, and convert the Measures into a regular scheme.


4.Set up a special fund to promote the development of Chinese medicine manufacturing industry. The government should also invest in building GMP-compliant manufacturing facilities for Chinese medicines with a view to providing small and medium local traders with OEM solutions.


5.Develop Comprehensive Agricultural Villages in restored landfills, such as the one in Pillar Point, so that more affordable land for agricultural purpose can be leased to local peasants and research institutes.


6.Provide higher subsidy for Long Whole-Day kindergartens under the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme. Extend the School Textbook Assistance Scheme to cover children attending kindergartens.


7.Chinese history should be taught in junior secondary schools as an independent course, which should cover more topics in modern Chinese history.


8.Lower the ad valorem stamp duty by 50% for permanent residents who are the first time buyers of residential units worth not more than $6 million.


9.Provide a New Born Baby Subsidy at $600 per month. Provide health care vouchers totaling $1000 a year for every kindergarten or primary school child.


10.Implement a subsidized program for eligible women to undertake comprehensive breast cancer screening. Provide subsidized pre-marital check-up and pre-pregnancy check-up, including the new “T21” examination service, which is more accurate and safe.


11.Provide a Higher Old Age Living Allowance to support the elderly in needier conditions. The monthly payment should be around $3300, 50% higher than that under the current Old Age Living Allowance.


12.Allow the vouchers issued under the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme to be used in the HKU – Shenzhen Hospital. Procure services by this Hospital for patients waiting in public hospitals for operations such as cataract surgery or joint replacement surgery.


13.Provide technical and financial supports for flat owners in old buildings which encounter genuine difficulties in meeting certain fire safety requirements such as water tank installation or hose-reel system installation. In appropriate cases relaxation of requirements or even exemption should be provided.


14.Update the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines and relevant town planning rules with a view to providing more facilities and open spaces in districts for cultural and recreational activities.


15.Strengthen support for families of police officers, e.g. by extending psychological and counseling services for police officers to their family members.


16.Waive business registration fees. Pay one month’s rent for public housing tenants. Waive rates for two quarters. Reduce salaries tax and profit tax by 75 per cent, subject to a ceiling of $12,000.

Press contact: The Chairperson of the DAB, Legislative Councilor Tam Yiu Chung (7770 0708)

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