Wide support for Tung address, says survey

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 12:00am

The Policy Address drew wide public support but doubts remain over civil service reforms, a survey has found.

Of the 1,006 respondents interviewed for the government-commissioned survey by the Chinese University's Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, nearly 80 per cent supported the measures and proposals in the Policy Address and accepted the Chief Executive's blueprint.

But the respondents were divided on civil service reforms, with 47.5 per cent saying they did not support the reforms or the Government's plan to contract out services to the private sector. The rest backed Government plans.

On the governance issue, 45 per cent said the Government should scrap the civil service's permanent appointment system, while 55 per cent disagreed. More than 90 per cent said the civil service should maintain its neutrality.

The new accountability system proposed for senior government echelons was supported by 89.7 per cent.

On other policy initiatives, 82.5 per cent backed plans to spend more than $2.7 billion in the next two years to alleviate poverty. More than 85 per cent supported more training for the less-educated and 90 per cent agreed the Government should help the disadvantaged by improving their competitiveness through education instead of giving money directly.

On education reform, 95 per cent backed the Government and nearly 80 per cent agreed with the objective of doubling to 60 per cent the number of senior secondary school leavers who will receive tertiary education in the next decade.