The chief secretary said she was “immune to hundreds of attacks” after she was criticised by lawmakers for ignoring public opinion in the ongoing consultation on retirement protection. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor faced criticism during a special meeting of the Legislative Council’s House Committee yesterday. She was responding to lawmakers’ questions on the six-month consultation which started on December 22. READ MORE: Six things you need to know about Hong Kong’s proposed retirement protection scheme Labour Party lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan accused Lam of being overbearing for saying that public opinion was important but “must be based on rational and practical discussion”. Lee also said she had been damaging relations between the younger and older generations. “You said it was not righteous for young people to pay tax for old people’s retirement. Are you alienating young people from the elderly?” Lee asked as he demanded an apology over comments she made on a radio programme late last month. “I don’t think I have to apologise for what I have said. Since the constitutional reform, I have got used to personal attacks. Now I am immune from hundreds of attacks,” said Lam. READ MORE: War of words: Carrie Lam says Hong Kong government adviser on retirement protection doesn’t fully understand public financing The government listed two options for retirement protection in the consultation document, laying out a universal option “regardless of rich or poor” and another for “those with financial needs”. The options assume a monthly payment of HK$3,230. Welfare sector lawmaker Peter Cheung Kwok-che said a universal protection scheme was important as it would not label any elderly people who were in need. But Lam said people did not look down on the 420,000 elderly who were receiving the Old Age Living Allowance, which is given to the needy. “I hope people from the social work profession do not encourage labelling,” said Lam. While the government estimated that higher tax rates and new income sources would be needed to fund the HK$2,395 billion cost of a universal scheme over 50 years, Lam stated that the government “did not intend to scare people” but rather to have a rational discussion.