Lam announces 220 new initiatives in policy address to tackle economic, social woes despite disruption

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/16 16:18:40

Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam addresses a press conference on Oct. 15, 2019. Photo:Xinhua

Hong Kong Chief Executive on Wednesday announced a raft of initiatives, particularly measures to tackle housing issues, in a bid to address economic and social woes and restore order in the city which has been engulfed with the months-long anti-government protests and chaos.  

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor made the announcement during her 2019 annual policy address which was presented via video after adjournment due to interruption by the opposition camp lawmakers. 

A total of 220 new initiatives were proposed in her third policy address with a focus on housing, land supply, improving the public livelihood, and economic development.

The government will allocate HK$5 billion to build 10,000 "transitional housing" units over the next three years and offering rent subsidies to people applying for public housing, Lam said. 

She also pledged to offer relief to low-income households not living in public rental housing(PRH) and not receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) (including people on the PRH waiting list),by providing cash allowances.

Land supply will also be increased, Lam noted, while proposing to adopt a more focused approach for rezoning private land for public housing development, and exercising public power to resume private land for public purpose.

The policy speech comes at a time when Hong Kong has suffered months of anti-government protests which often escalated into violence and vandalism.

Lam urged the society to return to normalcy as "the social conflict arising from opposition to the government's amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance has become more extensive" in the region.

Hong Kong will be able to get out of the impasse as long as the principle of "one country, two systems" is accurately adhered to, she said. 

Any acts that advocate Hong Kong's independence or threaten the country's sovereignty, security, and development interests will not be tolerated, Lam said. 

Global Times


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