Pan-democrats unveil plan to create 60,000 jobs
Pan-democrats yesterday published a list of 11 proposals they say would create 60,000 jobs at a cost to the government of HK$8 billion. The proposals, which come ahead of the release of the budget later this month, include creating more jobs for environmental and renovation works, more jobs in the social and education sectors, increasing child-care services, and establishing a fund for short-term unemployment. Meanwhile, tax experts at CPA Australia Hong Kong called for a reduction in the profits tax to 15 per cent (it is currently 17.5 per cent for corporations) and a 10 per cent rebate on corporate tax paid by smaller firms during the past three years.
Poll nomination period starts
The nomination period for a by-election - in which prisoners may be eligible to vote for the first time since a High Court ruling quashed a ban on inmate voting in December - will start today and continue for two weeks, according to the Registration and Electoral Office. The by-election will be held in the Tai Wai constituency of Sha Tin District Council next month. There is a six-week consultation period on voting arrangements for prisoners.
No plans to extend rent cut
The Housing Authority has shown no intention of extending rent concessions it offered in January and this month to 6,000 tenants of the shops and factories it owns. Chan Kam-lam, a member of the authority's commercial properties committee, said the two-month reduction, which cut the rent level in half, helped tenants during the financial crisis. He said the authority would watch the economic situation closely before making any decisions on further assistance to the tenants.
Report on missing baby delayed
The panel investigating how the body of a baby boy disappeared at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital will take more time to complete a draft report of its finding. The report was scheduled to be ready yesterday. The five-person panel, including Eastern Hospital management and a patient group's representative, met for 11 hours but was unable to finalise it. The investigation is ongoing.