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PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 November, 2010, 12:00am

Government should help home buyers

Property prices in Hong Kong have reached record highs. It is hard to find a flat priced lower than HK$10,000 per square foot. Hongkongers are feeling the squeeze as their incomes remain the same and house prices surge.

The government should limit the number of buyers from the mainland by increasing stamp duty or down payments to stop foreign investment pushing up prices.

I suggest the government also introduce subsidies for local home buyers. Such measures would not only raise living standards but would prove popular with the public and earn the government goodwill.

Building more public housing estates would also help lower property prices and meet the increasing demand for such units.

Kenneth Wu, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Education key to stopping littering

We often see litterbugs throwing rubbish on the street. It is usually cigarette ends.

Although there is a HK$1,500 fine on littering, a lot of people are still doing it. These people have no sense of civic responsibility. They do not have consideration for others. Hong Kong is a beautiful city which is home to many famous scenic spots and wonderful picnic spots. Littering tarnishes the city's reputation and may discourage people from living or visiting here, in turn affecting the economy.

It's hard to catch all the litterbugs. I think the government should focus on teaching the public good personal habits and hygiene.

Jeff Chan Man-hin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

The arts should fill the city's streets

I write in response to the article 'Street music is a welcome sound' (Young Post, October 25).

In Hong Kong, when people see a busker on the street, they may consider them a beggar. Hongkongers may find buskers annoying, but in fact, they play music on the street to cheer everyone up and in the hope of earning some money.

Street music is a welcome sound - it is also an art. I remember when I went to Britain a few years ago, I was really impressed by the buskers there. It was fantastic that street performers brought so much joy and energy to people. Some played the violins or flute, and some pretended to be sculptures or American Indians. It was very common to see them.

In Hong Kong, the government is putting together the West Kowloon Cultural District with the aim of increasing everyone's interest in and appreciation for the arts. But I doubt how effective it will be - I wonder if putting everything related to the arts into one district will help improve the city's cultural atmosphere.

London is a busy city like Hong Kong, but there are buskers everywhere to cheer up busy people as they go about their everyday lives. I don't know if there is any similar kind of arts project in London, but the atmosphere is great and the people love the arts. I hope to see such scenes in Hong Kong.

Jackie Lo Kwan-kei, Ho Fung College

Think long-term on poverty reduction

The new Community Care Fund announced in the chief executive's policy address is nothing more than a short-term fix for the needy, something of a candy gift to keep them quiet. It is not enough. The funds will be merely a tiny drop of water in a big empty cup.

The government needs to come up with a long-term policy to help the poor. Better allocation of money and control of donations for the needy are also needed.

Despite this, there were some encouraging announcements in the policy address. Relaxing limits on claiming old-age allowance was welcome. It will help the elderly cope with a more expensive society.

The government also announced it will build 5,000 flats under the 'My Home Purchase Plan' in the policy address. These flats will be leased to eligible middle-income families. But 5,000 is not enough to cover the number of such families in need. Tenants will be asked if they want to buy the units after five years, but who knows what levels property prices will be at then?

The government needs to think long-term.

Carman Tung, Holy Family Canossian College