Population plan backed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2007, 12:00am

The government yesterday sought to justify the Council for Sustainable Development's omission from a report on population policy of views expressed by members of the public about raising the recommended retirement age - by saying that Hong Kong did not have a mandatory retirement age and that the views expressed had been diverse.

It offered explanations for this and other omissions following criticism by council members that recommendations in the report did not fully reflect opinions voiced by the public.

An Environment Bureau spokeswoman said the report had addressed the public's concerns on retirement age by advocating the promotion of 'active ageing'.

But she admitted that 55 per cent of respondents had been in favour of raising the retirement age - usually 55 or 60 in Hong Kong.

Explaining why the report did not make recommendations about flexible working hours and paternity leave, the spokeswoman said the report had addressed the public's concerns about those issues by advocating a better work-life balance.

The chairman of the council committee responsible for the report, Otto Poon Lok-to, said: 'It is difficult for us to give specific examples [of paternity leave, flexible working hours and work-life balance].'

The report is available online at www.susdev.org.hk/archive/en/ councilreport.