I sign and agree with Oxfam that the Hong Kong government should:
- An approximate amount of HK$36.7 billion of recurrent expenditure should be increased, additional resources should be put to increase on education, health care and social welfare.
- Improve labour protection and benefits by reviewing minimum wage annually, reviews its outsourcing system and to include “casual work” employees under the Labour Ordinance for legal labour protection.
- The government should work on the planning and development of brownfield sites, accelerate the planning progress to confirm the land size of different public housing projects and increase the public housing ratio.
- Put forward a new MPF offsetting mechanism cancellation proposal as soon as possible to protect workers; retirement funds. In the long run, the government should allow elderly citizens in need to apply for CSSA independently. Riding on the increase in recurrent spending, the government should consider further increasing the Old Age Living Allowance.
- Enhance child care services by dramatically increase the number of subsidised nursey places, the operation time of nursery services should be extended as well.
- Put more resources into pre-primary education and provide enrichment courses in all Hong Kong kindergartens to provide NCS students with greater support. The government should also establish a three-tier training system with reference to the professional development framework of teachers who specialise in catering to students with special educational needs.
- The government should establish a policy on bazaars that recognises the social and economic value of bazaars, and its ability to alleviate poverty. Oxfam suggests establishing a one-stop management platform at the central level (i.e. under the administration of the Chief Secretary) to co-ordinate various procedures involved
- Prepare ahead of time by reviewing the current tax system based on the principle of ‘ability-to-pay’. This could include the regulation of profit tax rate of enterprises with high profits and stamp duty of the wealthy. The tax generated could have to finance recurrent expenditure on public services, this can help bring about fiscal justice and help the government better redistribute resources to narrow the gap between rich and poor, create a more equitable society.
In the upcoming consultation on Policy Address and Budget, Oxfam will hand in our policy suggestions to the HKSAR Government.