Old age allowance

Legco candidates vow to lobby for universal pension scheme

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 October, 2012, 11:19pm

An overwhelming majority of Legislative Council election candidates from across the political spectrum have vowed to lobby the government for a universal pension scheme.

This emerged from a poll conducted by a group lobbying for such a scheme who believe the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance scheme and Old Age Allowance are not enough to cater for Hong Kong's ageing population.

The Alliance for Universal Pension also petitioned Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on the issue before yesterday's Executive Council meeting.

Early this month the alliance sent 271 questionnaires to every candidate in the functional and geographical constituencies.

Of the 212 who responded, more than 90 per cent vowed to fully support the introduction of a universal pension scheme.

"After the election next month, we will remind newly-elected legislators to live up to their promises, and push for the government to follow up on the matter as soon as possible," alliance organiser Au Yeung Kwun-tung said.

Respondents who supported the scheme included those from the Beijing-loyalist Federation of Trade Unions and Civil Force, as well as pan-democrats such as the Democratic Party, Civic Party, Labour Party, Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, League of Social Democrats and People Power. Six independent contestants also responded.

No one from the main pro-establishment party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, or the business-oriented Liberal Party responded.

But the alliance said it was aware that DAB candidates had publicised their support for a universal pension in televised election forums. The Liberals also wrote to the alliance to reiterate their stance, but the content of the letter was not disclosed.

Respondents also agreed on other suggestions about universal pensions in the survey, including urging the government so set up a specialist authority and to issue proposals for consultation and implementation within the next five years.