Macleod must help society's less fortunate

IN his Budget speech, the Financial Secretary, Mr Hamish Macleod said, ''As a community, we recognise a duty to care for those in need, particularly those who are the victims of life's special tragedies''.

Have readers thought about how much current financial support is made available by the Government for the old and the disabled? According to information provided by the Social Welfare Department, the monthly financial support only amounts to $825 for ordinary disabled people (physically or mentally) and $1,650 for those who are seriously disabled. For old people from the age of 65 to 69, $413 is being offered and $470 for those over the age of 70. I would question whether this is enough.

Each day, these people have to cope with the bitterness of life, and live in desperation. Everyone has a part to play, turning Hongkong into the prosperous society that has made it famous. In this society, old people should be taken care of.

I do not believe the elderly and the disabled are given sufficient financial support. With only limited assistance from the Government, it is very difficult for those who have partly or completely lost their ability to work, to maintain a basic living standard in times of high inflation.

I suggest that the current financial support for the disabled should be doubled, bringing a rise to $1,650 for ordinary disabled and $3,300 for the seriously disabled. For old people, there should be a five times increase, from $413 to $2,065 for those between the ages of 65 and 69, and to $2,350 for those over 70 years of age.

Let us not forget the old people. They have made great sacrifices to help Hongkong and now are being left behind. We should appreciate that some day we will grow old. Our time will come.

As a young citizen in Hongkong, I think the Government is being unfair to the elderly and the disabled.

I hope the Financial Secretary will listen to what I have to say.