In Focus
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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"I won't overlook the middle class": CE Tsang

He reiterated the Government considers the interest and needs of all sectors in the community when drafting housing policies.

According to a release, Chief Executive Donald Tsang says the Government’s policy is to help people in need have their own home - but he will not overlook the middle class's contributions. The Financial Secretary will address their needs in the upcoming Budget.

Taking questions on his 2011-12 Policy Address on a joint radio phone-in programme this morning, Mr Tsang found callers were most concerned about his housing policies.

He said there is a group of people in society who have worked hard for Hong Kong but cannot afford to buy their own home and may not be able to afford high rents after retirement. These people are the ones who need help most.

He emphasised the new Home Ownership Scheme proposed in his Policy Address is not meant to cater to buyers’ investment needs. The Housing Authority will work out implementation details and ensure they are fair, especially to existing HOS owners, and acceptable to the community.

When asked if the Government will build more public housing, Mr Tsang said there must be sufficient new sites and called for support from local communities who may object to public housing estates in their neighbourhood.

He reiterated the Government considers the interest and needs of all sectors in the community when drafting housing policies, with an aim of stabilising the property market.

Mr Tsang said he will never overlook contributions from the middle class, adding the Financial Secretary will address their needs in the upcoming Budget.

In his Policy Address, Mr Tsang proposed allowing people aged 65 or above, and the disabled, to travel on the general MTR lines, and franchised bus and ferry routes for $2 a trip anytime. He estimates the annual Government expenditure on the concession will be under $200 million.

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