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Transcript of remarks by CS on Budget (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session on the 2013-14 Budget in the Legislative Council Complex this afternoon (February 27):

Reporter: Mrs Lam, could you just explain your views on the Budget overall? And how are the people who are left out in the Budget, how are they actually not neglected through the injection of the Community Care Fund?

Chief Secretary for Administration: In overall terms, I think the Budget just delivered by the Financial Secretary has not only provided the necessary resources to execute all those policy initiatives announced by the Chief Executive in his inaugural Policy Address, but has also continued to broaden Hong Kong's economy to create more jobs and also to upgrade the skills of our manpower. In particular, the Financial Secretary is fully appreciated of the burden on a lot of people, and so he has announced a number of relief measures.

     As the Chairman of the Commission on Poverty, I'm particularly pleased that the Financial Secretary has given the Community Care Fund an additional injection of $15 billion. With this $15 billion, together with the initial $5 billion injected into the Community Care Fund, I have every confidence that we will be able to assist more people in need, particularly that group of people who used to complain that they were being left out from the Budget relief measures - the so-called multiple have-nots. In other words, they are not living in public rental housing, so they could not benefit from the waiver of the rent; they are not receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), and that's why they cannot benefit from the extra allowance given under the CSSA scheme; they may not even have their own electricity meter, so they can't benefit from the electricity tariff subsidy.

     But this time I want to make this extremely clear that these people have not been left out. The Financial Secretary has sort of tasked the Community Care Fund and given the fund the necessary resources to help these multiple have-nots people. So I have already briefed and invited the Community Care Fund Task Force, chaired by Dr C K Law, to immediately start to devise additional projects to help these people. Normally they will be living in poorly housed accommodation, so we will shortly devise the necessary scheme and also broaden the definition of "inadequately housed" so that more residents living in the so-called subdivided flats will benefit from the subsidy going to be dished out by the Community Care Fund.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:11


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