Offer may sink fare freeze bid
By RHONDA LAM WAN
THE Democratic Party's move to freeze ferry fares could fail, it emerged yesterday.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, with six legislators, yesterday tabled a compromise proposal to amend the party's resolution.
The alliance asked for a reduction in the fare increase rather than a fare freeze.
Party spokesman Chan Kam-lam said the proposal, cutting the increase from 13.9 per cent to 12.3 per cent, struck a balance between the interests of the public and the company.
Under the proposal, the fares for children, students, the elderly, the disabled and monthly ticket users will be frozen, making the average increase 12.3 per cent.
Mr Chan said frequent ferry users would not be affected by the increase.
'About 22 per cent will be affected and nearly half of passengers need to pay less than $1,' he said.
The Liberal Party and legislators from business and professional sectors have been supporting the ferry company's demand to raise fares.
A proposal to increase fares by 13.9 per cent was approved by the Executive Council two weeks ago.
The 19-strong Democratic Party, with the support of three unionists, could push through its proposal on Wednesday, if it wins the support of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood.