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Hong Kong Leader Vows To Tackle Poverty
Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/hong-kong-leader-vows-to/954922.html
Source Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Focus: E-Procurement
Country: China
Created: Jan 15, 2014

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's leader on Wednesday announced plans to tackle rising poverty in a policy speech delivered amid growing public discontent with his administration.

In his second policy address, chief executive Leung Chun-ying unveiled a HK$3 billion ($390 million) scheme to help the working poor, among other social policies.

Some 700,000 people will benefit from the scheme, which will provide extra subsidies for low-income working families.

"The current-term government is determined to tackle the poverty problem," Leung said.

Hong Kong found almost 20 per cent of its residents live in poverty after in September setting its first benchmark to measure the problem in the city of seven million.

Since Leung took office in July 2012, his administration has met with growing public discontent, fuelled by a lack of democratic reform as well as an acute housing shortage, among other livelihood issues.

Leung said in his speech that the government would do its "utmost" to increase housing supply.

Dozens of people staged a protest outside the government headquarters before Leung delivered his speech, some holding pictures of a turtle shell and Leung's picture, shouting "Don't hide like a turtle, Leung".

"The government has said that giving low-income families subsidies is their duty but what we can see is that they just keep on proposing and planning, there is nothing at this moment," Kalvin Ho, a 25-year-old community development officer, told AFP.

Radical lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung was expelled for disrupting the chief executive's speech.

Leung Chun-ying took office in July after he was picked by a 1,200-member election committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites, amid rising anger over what many perceive to be China's meddling in local affairs.

- AFP/nd
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