CY Leung policy address 2014

Satisfaction with policy address down from last year, says HKU poll

Poverty plan win fans but young people left unmoved by measures for social mobility

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 January, 2014, 3:58am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 January, 2014, 4:32am

Satisfaction levels with the policy address are lower than last year despite an increase in approval for the measures to combat poverty.

In a poll by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme, the address delivered by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Wednesday scored 54 per cent, two percentage points lower than last year's.

But the poverty-alleviation segment rated 56 per cent, five points up.

Measures aimed at improving social mobility for young people received a thumbs-down from those they were aimed at, however, with close to 70 per cent of those aged 18 to 29 saying that they were of little or no help.

"Feedback from the social welfare sector is more positive than … that of the general public, because many of our suggestions were taken into account," said Chua Hoi-wai, a director of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which commissioned the survey.

"Many of the public originally had negative feelings towards the administration, which can be reflected in the scores."

But Chua said the government had not done enough, especially for young people.

"The challenges and pressures young people face are quite big and cannot be solved by cash handouts. They worry about employment opportunities, education and housing. The government will need to do more than give out money," he said.

The Low-Income Family Allowance, announced in the address, was a good start "but it's definitely not enough".

The allowance, the leading poverty-alleviation measure in this year's address, received a lukewarm response.

Of the 625 respondents to the poll, 36 per cent commended it as "useful in alleviating poverty" but 33 per cent said it would have little or no effect.