CY Leung policy address 2013
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying delivered his maiden policy address on January 16, 2013, in which he unveiled a blueprint that will set policy direction in the next five years. Acknowledging soaring property prices and cramped living conditions, he said his top priority is housing.
Leung Chun-ying's concrete action plan for Hong Kong
HOUSING AND LAND SUPPLY
At least 100,000 public housing flats shall be built over five years starting from 2018
Sites in Sha Tin and Sha Tau Kok will be set aside, providing 1,000 flats in total
Four plots originally earmarked for the My Home Purchase Plan will be used for new Home Ownership Scheme developments
Thirteen sites in green belt areas of 57 hectares will be rezoned to residential use to provide 23,000 flats
Restrictions on the sale of new land or modification of leases in Pok Fu Lam and Mid-Levels may be lifted
Four developments to provide 27 hectares of land for 15,000 public and private flats will be expedited
An additional new town the size of Fanling or Sheung Shui to be built in New Territories North
Reclamation of 2,000 to 3,000 hectares outside Victoria Harbour. North Lantau, Lung Kwu Tan in Tuen Mun, southwest Tsing Yi and Ma Liu Shui are among the sites identified
Set up a joint working group to enhance the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa). Extend its early implementation beyond Guangdong
Commission on Poverty to set a poverty line this year
More than 1,700 new subsidised places at homes for the elderly by 2014-15
Explore the feasibility of incorporating nursing homes for the elderly into redevelopments, and convert vacant buildings into residential care homes
Consider feasibility of adopting an Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme for residential care services
Explore conversion of Wong Chuk Hang Hospital into a care home, with more residential places
Officially scrap the monthly HK$400 levy on employers of foreign domestic helpers
Set up a special committee on standard working hours in the first quarter
Redevelop Kwai Chung Hospital to target care of mental patients; expedite development of the reserved hospital site at the Kai Tak area
Quality review of Hospital Authority services
Maintain zero quota for births by mainland women in city unless their husbands are Hong Kong residents
Committee to examine feasibility of free kindergarten schooling; kindergartens in the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme will receive an extra grant in 2013-14 for minor improvement works
Set aside HK$10 billion as subsidies for owners of more than 80,000 heavily polluting commercial vehicles in phasing-out scheme
Inject HK$5 billion into the Environment and Conservation Fund
Launch a consultation on methods for electing the chief executive in 2017 and the Legislative Council in 2016 at an "appropriate time"
Scrap appointed district council seats from 2016
A one-off grant of HK$100 million for each district to carry out signature projects
No plan for a consultation on banning discrimination based on sex orientation
Unify fees on sports facilities at urban and New Territories venues
I can put my hand on my heart and say the administration's main emphasis is on housing … if my team and I did not have vision, determination and commitment, you wouldn't have seen the achievements we made in the last six months in the public, subsidised and private housing markets.
The top priority of the government is to tackle the housing problem. We recognise that problems stemming from property prices and rental, cage homes, cubicle apartments and subdivided units cannot be solved overnight. But we must acknowledge these problems, understand the gravity of the situation and take the first step forward to resolve them.
Some people believe home ownership is not the only way to meet accommodation needs: it can be met just as well by rented flats. But I believe that home ownership by the middle class is crucial to social stability.
In considering whether a site should be developed, the use of the site after development, or how to accommodate different views and aspirations in the process of development, we do not have any perfect option ... But the fact is that the community will never reach a full consensus over such issues. In fact, we cannot afford to, and should not, wait for a full consensus.
The deep-seated problems of Hong Kong cannot be solved overnight. But we need to grasp the nettle and take the first step to deal with them. We must act proactively to address the concerns of the people promptly. I have already rolled out an array of major policies over the past six months instead of withholding them for the policy address. The government is determined to deliver results. But we must act with one heart and one vision to tackle these problems.
To promote economic development, the government must be 'appropriately proactive'. The government should refrain from intervention when the market is functioning efficiently, except to ensure a level playing field. But in cases of market failure, the government must take appropriate action to address the problem.
First, it is imperative to pursue people's livelihood and the economy in tandem. Improving people's livelihood hinges on economic development. We promote economic development for the purpose of improving people's livelihood, and that in turn will provide a more stable business environment. Second, in pursuing economic development, we must seize the opportunities that come our way. In our drive to improve people's livelihood, we must take timely action to address the pressing needs of the community. Speedy action is required on both these fronts.
ON PUBLIC APPROVAL
If this policy address was written for me, maybe I should have saved the more welcome initiatives in the last six months and announced them now. But the policy address is not written for me. All the policies in this speech, along with those rolled out in the past, are written for the … people of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has unparalleled natural endowments. With better environmental conservation, Hong Kong can be the loveliest city in the world. We boast successful co-existence of urban development and countryside and a rich diversity of fauna and flora. Both shores of Victoria Harbour present a unique cityscape. Our city has sophisticated infrastructure and convenient transportation systems: a half-hour ride will get us to beaches and country parks.
I believe it is time to consolidate our education policies, and avoid drastic changes to give stakeholders some respite. Our future priority will be to ensure the quality of our education by further improving relevant measures in accordance with existing policies.