Tung 'broke promise to elderly'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 December, 1998, 12:00am

ELDERLY people and social groups yesterday criticised the Chief Executive and his administration for breaking their promise to offer the aged a better living.

The Elderly Rights League (HK) and the Society for Community Organisation made the comments in their report evaluating the SAR Government's performance on its policy for the elderly in the past 12 months.

The two groups plan to hold a demonstration at the Central Government Office on New Year's Day to express their anger with the administration and to mark the beginning of the International Year of Older Persons.

They said Tung Chee-hwa and his officials had failed to make significant improvements on a number of elderly issues.

The groups claimed that delays in building 420 new care-and-attention homes and providing more spaces in residential care homes for the elderly resulted in 3,771 applicants dying while waiting for these services.

Lack of medical coverage for those in the portable Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, which allows the retired to live in Guangdong and still receive their SAR allowances, had discouraged many from applying and forced some recipients to drop out of the scheme, the groups said.

They accused the Government of having no policy to encourage old people to participate in the community and demanded that half the Elderly Commission be made up of elderly people or their concern groups' representatives.

'At the very least, through our report, we wish to remind the Government of its obligation in implementing the United Nations principles for old people,' said the society's community organiser Ng Wai-tung.