Transcript of remarks by CS at media session after Commission on Poverty meeting (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Commission on Poverty, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after the Commission on Poverty meeting at the Central Government Offices, Tamar, today (August 26):

Reporter: Mrs Lam, do you think it is quite tricky to say it is not illegal to live in industrial buildings in a way, and are you encouraging civil servants to turn a blind eye on people living in industrial buildings?

Chief Secretary for Administration: First of all, not at all. Our civil servants are always working according to rules and regulations that have been prescribed. What we are saying is, of course, we know very well that industrial buildings are not suitable for domestic purpose, and that's why I emphasise time and again that the enforcement agency, in this case the Buildings Department, will continue to undertake enforcement action against sub-divided units in industrial buildings. But the whole purpose of introducing a Community Care Fund item is really to provide relief for families whom were sort of known as "N-nothing" - in other words, they do not fall within our public rental housing programme, they are not receiving CSSA (Comprehensive Social Security Assistance), they do not have their own properties. So the conventional measures of providing relief are not able to reach these people, and that's why we have to make use of the Community Care Fund.

     We have already clarified the legal situation and so there is no question whatsoever that we are turning a blind eye to the situation of sub-divided units in industrial buildings. But it is the consensus of the Commission on Poverty that since this is a relief measure, and since we have clarified the legal position, there is really no reason why we should deny these people, who are much in need of our help, from being given this subsidy under the Community Care Fund.

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

Ends/Monday, August 26, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:16