Let's cherish the elderly

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 October, 2010, 12:00am

The issue of looking after the elderly has again been in the limelight recently. It was reported that some elderly people who have been living outside Hong Kong are not allowed to claim their old-age allowance usually paid out to them by the government. Many have moved to the mainland because living costs are lower there.

As the old saying goes, an elder at home is a treasure. In such a prosperous place like Hong Kong, why don't we cherish our dear old people? They have contributed so much. I suggest the government not only take away the barriers to them claiming their allowance, but also increase their welfare payments.

Being students, we don't have much money to help the elderly, but we can certainly show our respect for them and the great contribution they have made to our society. They deserve our love and care.

Teresa Lai Tsz-yan, Christian Alliance S. W. Chan Memorial College (Fanling)

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Tsz-yan. It comes at an interesting time - when governments are looking for ways to cut their budgets. In some places in Europe we have seen rioting because governments there have tried to cut their spending. In America, President Barack Obama's party may lose its power in the upcoming elections because people want the government to spend less.

The fact is that the government gets its money from its people in the form of taxes. Just like you with your allowance money, the government has to make do with what it has.

What can be argued is how the government spends the money it gets. Do we weigh the arts more highly than the comfort of our elderly? Do we rate our education less important than the condition of our roads? These are questions the government wrestles with all the time. Perhaps we should be looking at ways the government can save money before we ask it to spend more.

Susan, Editor