145. Last year, the Family Council conducted a series of studies on social problems. It concluded that, to tackle these problems, we have to start from the family and adopt a multi-pronged approach. The Family Council will organise a series of family education activities, and continue to actively mobilise all sectors of the community through the "Happy Family Campaign" and "Happy Family Info Hub" to jointly promote family core values and foster an environment conducive to harmonious family relationships. It will launch a "Family Friendly Company Award Scheme" to recognise family friendly companies, with a view to encouraging the business sector to promote family core values.
146. There are more than 300 social enterprises in Hong Kong. To rally community support and help social enterprises sustain their development, the Government will launch a "Be a Friend to Social Enterprise" campaign. Private enterprises will be encouraged to assist social enterprises in different ways, such as subsidies, consultancy services and partnership. We will introduce training programmes to nurture young social entrepreneurs. We will organise Social Enterprise Fairs to raise community awareness about social enterprises and promote socially responsible consumption.
Enhanced Protection of Personal Data
147. The transfer of customers' personal data by some enterprises for use in direct marketing has aroused community concern. The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data has investigated the cases and will issue a new guidance note on relevant issues. Moreover, we propose that more specific requirements should be laid down in the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, and will put forward legislative proposals for public discussion shortly. We will consider carefully the impact of the legislative proposals on the relevant sectors.
Enhancing Legal Aid Service
148. To make legal aid services more accessible, the Government has recently decided to substantially increase the financial eligibility limits of the Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme and the Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme (SLAS). Moreover, the age requirement for exempting part of the savings in calculating disposable capital will be relaxed from the age of 65 to 60.
149. To complement the SLAS review soon to be completed by the Legal Aid Services Council, and to benefit more middle-class people, the Government will earmark $100 million for injection into the SLAS Fund when necessary to expand the scheme to cover more types of cases, such as claims for damages for professional negligence in a wider range of professions, and claims to recover outstanding wages and other employee benefits.
150. In addition to legal aid services, the public can also obtain preliminary legal advice through the government-funded Free Legal Advice Scheme without any means testing. We will enhance support services for the scheme to attract more volunteer lawyers to join.
Emergency Response Strategy for Hong Kong Residents in Distress Outside Hong Kong
151. Our nation's diplomatic resources provide a firm backing for our emergency response system. We benefit from frontline assistance rendered by Chinese embassies when our residents are in distress outside Hong Kong. In the Manila hostage incident, with the staunch support of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, our support team managed to accomplish its relief tasks promptly. Drawing from the experience of this incident, the Government will further improve the existing response mechanism to offer better assistance to our residents in distress outside Hong Kong.
(To be continued)
Ends/Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:36