Transcript of remarks by CE at media session (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session today (March 23) after attending the Main Works Completion Ceremony for the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link project:
Reporter: Mrs Lam, why did the Government bow to public pressure to give a cash handout when the Government had already decided that would not happen?
Chief Executive: First of all, I wouldn’t say that we are bowing to pressure, and secondly we have not said we will not do something, which we described as a share and care programme. If you remember, when the Financial Secretary announced his Budget on February 28, apart from announcing relief measures in terms of tax rebates as well as rates relief, and also giving extra amounts of subsidies to social security recipients, he was fully aware that there are still certain sections in the community who may not benefit from all these measures, because these measures were built on our existing systems – one is a tax system, the other is a rates system and the third is a social security system. So, he did say very explicitly in his Budget speech that he would invite the Community Care Fund to devise a scheme to share with the other sections in society the economic benefits and the very strong public finances that Hong Kong now has. But I would say that in the course of the last two or three weeks, we have listened to the community and engaged extensively with the Legislative Council members and other community groups and hear that they want this care and share scheme to be designed in a very comprehensive way with a view to meet the wishes of hopefully everyone in society, but short of doing a free give-out to everybody in Hong Kong. So, I understand that the Financial Secretary has just announced this new share and care programme, and I’m pretty confident that this programme will now meet the wishes of the Hong Kong people.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.) 

Ends/Friday, March 23, 2018
Issued at HKT 20:07