Transcript of remarks by CS, FS, DCS and DFS at media session (with video)
Reporter: About the task force of land supply, like how different will be the new one when compared with the existing one? And also about the civil service pay rise, can the Government afford a higher rate of increase? And also for the Chief Secretary and the Deputy Chief Secretary, what is the most urgent task at the moment? Thank you.
Financial Secretary: The new working group set up by the Chief Executive in respect of land supply and housing supply is different from the previous one that I chaired in the previous government. The previous one that I chaired mainly focused on land supply, but now under the new setup, I will also oversee housing supply, and that is not just confined to public housing, but also private housing.
Secondly, I will oversee the transport-related infrastructure as well as other infrastructures to make sure these infrastructures are in place in time, so that the development potential of the land along this infrastructure can be released. Also, it would be more convenient for people to move into these areas. Thirdly, we will publish the forecast of land supply in the coming decade to enhance transparency and allow oversight by the public on the work of the Government in this respect.
And finally, I will also oversee the provision of the various ancillary community facilities to make sure those facilities are completed in time to support the residents to move in.
As to the pay rise for civil servants, over the past two days, the Secretary for the Civil Service has been explaining this very clearly to the community. So I have no further points to supplement. Thank you.
Chief Secretary for Administration: There are many different policy areas under my purview, which are equally important. For me, I think the most important and most urgent thing is to set up this task force to help the underprivileged students. This is already announced by the Chief Executive and then we have to do it as quickly as possible. This is, I think, the most urgent task for me for the time being. Thank you.
Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration: I fully agree with the Chief Secretary that all the business under the nine bureaux in our family are of equal importance, but obviously the Chief Secretary and I are tasked to chair those two working groups, which we went into some detail earlier. But I'm sure issues like youth development, how to contain the COVID-19 situation and how to help reduce the inconvenience to travellers coming into and going out of Hong Kong, those are obviously also our work priorities.
Reporter: Chief Secretary, so former CEs (Chief Executives) have also set up various new task forces and committees at the start of their terms, but some of these have ended up not achieving much. How would you ensure that these new groups are not just a repeat of the previous approach, and also with these new task forces as well, wouldn't this make it more complicated and even more bureaucratic and potentially not achieve the Chief Executive’s goals? And also the second question, on this administration or in this government, lots of goals and also task forces have been set up or been asked by the Chief Executive as well. Can I ask what is your expectation on being able to achieve these goals and also would corners be cut in order to achieve these goals and not be able to achieve the goals that the Chief Executive intended to? Thank you.
Chief Secretary for Administration: As I explained earlier, I think most importantly the difference is that the focus is different. We have different schemes in the past on how to help underprivileged people. But for this one, we mainly help the students, the secondary (school) students. Most of them are from the grassroots families, and we want to help them to be away from intergenerational poverty. This is important, we have to help them and then I think the most important thing is we need to teach them how to achieve a proper goal in life, and how to plan their life and also how to achieve their goal and how to make their dreams, step by step, come true. I think this is the very important focus that we're doing now.
Of course, there is some financial assistance provided to the students. But it is different this time. How to spend the money will be decided by the mentor and then the mentor will decide if, for example, to attend a course will be very helpful to the student, then he will arrange payment for the training course, instead of giving them the money so that they (can) spend in whatever way they want. This is not our purpose.
To conclude, I will say the purpose, or the focus, is different, so it's not a repetition of the existing schemes. Thank you.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:48
Issued at HKT 18:48
Audio / Video
CS, FS, DCS, DFS meet the media