More help urged for disabled
By KIN YU
ACTIVISTS welcomed transport concessions for the disabled, but said Mr Macleod may have missed the boat in helping those with mobility problems.
Those most needing help had been ignored, they said.
Tax concessions for the disabled only applied to those who could afford to buy their own vehicles and would not affect most of the territory's more than 470,000 disabled people.
Mr Macleod offered exemptions from first registration tax, vehicle and driving licence fees and duty on a monthly supply of up to 100 litres of fuel for those buying three-wheeled vehicles or scooters. He also exempted drivers of such vehicles from paying the $5 Cross Harbour Tunnel fee.
Only 1,361 registered disabled drivers will enjoy the benefits, Transport Department figures show.
The chairman of the Rehabilitation Alliance of Hongkong, Mr Peter Chan Fuk-sing, said: ''It is one more choice for transportation for the disabled, but it is more urgent for the Government to implement a mobility allowance for those who can neither afford a vehicle nor use public transport.'' Motor Traders' Association of Hongkong vice-chairman Mr Chris Thomas said three-wheeled vehicles were rare and scooters were for those with minor disabilities.
''What the tax exemptions get you in most cases are smaller family cars which may mean the disabled would have to do without a more comfortable car,'' he said.