4. Our economy started to recover in the second quarter of 2009 and has since remained strong. We achieved growth of 7% last year and expect the economy to grow by 5-6% this year. Economic development is not an end but a means to enable our people to share the fruits of prosperity, improve living conditions and build a stable home.
5. The wealth gap, housing and the ageing population are the issues of greatest public concern. I have put in place a statutory minimum wage to offer income protection to grassroot people. I have devoted great efforts to promote social enterprises. I have also implemented support measures for families and elderly people in need. In regard to housing, the financial tsunami has led to surging asset values and soaring property prices. People have become frustrated because it is more difficult for them to own a home. I am striving to tackle the problem by increasing land supply, combating property speculation and adjusting our subsidised housing policy. I will talk about the new features of our housing policy in a while.
6. On constitutional development, I pledged to set a timetable for attaining universal suffrage. In 2007, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), after deliberating on the report I submitted, decided that Hong Kong may implement universal suffrage to elect the Chief Executive in 2017 and, after universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election is implemented, all members of the Legislative Council in 2020. I subsequently put forward a constitutional reform package to enhance the democratic elements in the 2012 elections. The package was endorsed by this Council in June last year, signifying a critical step forward on our road to universal suffrage.