2015 Policy Address, Uphold the Rule of Law, Seize the Opportunities, Make the Right Choices, Pursue Democracy, Boost the Economy, Improve People's Livelihood
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Policy Address

118.     In exploring the issue of retirement protection, we must fully consider the adequacy, sustainability, affordability and robustness of various policy options.  Hong Kong's long-term economic growth will decelerate over time due to an ageing population.  The Government will face increasing fiscal pressure in the medium to long terms.  If we were to deploy our financial resources to benefit all, the benefits received by elderly people in financial need would inevitably be reduced.  In addition, we should take into full account the functions of the various pillars under the existing retirement protection system and explore possible necessary enhancement measures.  We should also have regard to the traditional values cherished by our community, including self-reliance, focusing social resources on helping those most in need and mutual support among family members.  We will continue to improve the Mandatory Provident Fund arrangements, including the introduction of a "core fund" with fee control to address the concerns over "high fee" and "difficulty in making fund choices".

119.     The Government agrees that protection for needy citizens after retirement should be improved.  To demonstrate our determination and commitment, I have asked the Financial Secretary to earmark $50 billion to provide for future needs.

Care for the Elderly

Elderly Services

120.     The Government will adhere to our policy of promoting "ageing in place as the core".  Last June, the CCF rolled out a two-year scheme on a trial basis to provide 2 000 carers from low-income families with a living allowance.  In parallel, the Government will provide more subsidised residential care services through a multi-pronged approach.  More residential care places for the elderly will be provided by redeveloping or expanding existing service facilities through the Special Scheme on Privately Owned Sites for Welfare Uses proposed in my Policy Addresses.

121.     We will promote the concept of shared responsibility among individuals, families and the community to provide the elderly with more options.  The Pilot Scheme on the Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly has adopted an innovative "money-following-the-user" approach and followed the "affordable users pay" principle where those who can afford should pay more.  The 1 200 vouchers of the first phase have all been issued.  We will work out details of the next phase after the mid-term review.  The Elderly Commission is actively studying the feasibility of introducing a residential care service voucher scheme and a report is expected to be submitted in mid-2015.  We have earmarked about $800 million to issue a total of 3 000 service vouchers in the three years from 2015-16 to 2017-18 subject to the recommendations of the report.  This will provide about 5 000 additional subsidised residential care places within the current term of the Government.



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