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Policy Address

VIII. Poverty Alleviation, Elderly Care and Support for the Disadvantaged

Progress and Vision

164. Poverty alleviation, elderly care and support for the disadvantaged are at the top of the current-term Government’s agenda. Poverty alleviation initiatives implemented in the past four years have shown a clear vision and direction and proven effective. The current-term Government’s philosophy in poverty alleviation is to encourage and support people capable of working to achieve self-reliance through employment, and put in place a reasonable and sustainable social welfare system.

165. After taking office, the current-term Government immediately re-established the Commission on Poverty and announced the first official “poverty line” to provide objective data on the poverty problem and to serve as a foundation for building consensus. The data is updated on a yearly basis, so the effectiveness of poverty alleviation measures can be reviewed with the community.

166. Over the past four years or so, our poverty alleviation work has been geared towards two major objectives, namely enhancing the social security programmes and encouraging selfreliance through employment. While according priority to tackling elderly poverty and working poverty, the Government has also attached importance to the upward mobility of young people with grassroots background and the issue of social integration facing persons with disabilities, ethnic minority groups and others. To address elderly poverty and working poverty, the Government has introduced two new support programmes — the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) and the Low-income Working Family Allowance, over the short span of four years. While offering economic assistance, the Government also attaches great importance to the provision of appropriate services for the disadvantaged.



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