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Government's response to procession

     In response to the procession today (March 6), a Government spokesman said that the Government had heard views of the public and would attach great importance to their aspirations.

     "The Government will listen to and carefully consider the views expressed by the public with an open mind so that our policies will meet the needs of the public," the spokesman said.

     Discussions surrounding the Budget in the past week have provided us with a valuable learning experience. The Government will continue to seek improvements in the administration of livelihood issues.

     The Financial Secretary has proposed a new package in response to the aspirations expressed by the public and legislators.  Among various initiatives he has proposed to establish a new platform whereby all holders of Hong Kong permanent identity cards aged 18 or above will be entitled to a one-off sum of $6,000.

     Members of the public may draw the sum according to their needs and wishes.  Interest will be paid to those who choose not to draw the principal as an incentive to encourage saving.

     The Financial Secretary has agreed to set aside adequate resources to deal with those who may not be able to benefit from the package but have special needs, including new arrivals.

     In addition, the Financial Secretary has also proposed a tax rebate of 75 per cent of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment, subject to a ceiling of $6,000.  This is the same as last year's tax rebate arrangement.

     These proposed measures are aimed at leaving wealth to the people and will meet the needs and aspirations of the public.

     Concerning other livelihood issues, the Government will continue to follow up.  The Government welcomes different sectors to have thorough discussion to forge a consensus to facilitate the long-term development of the community.

Ends/Sunday, March 6, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:41


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