The LegCo Reporter
Issue No. 12 (24 February 2005)

At its meeting on 23 February 2005, the Legislative Council passed the following two motions with no legislative effect:

(1)Motion on "Taking forward the issues of concern to the elderly", moved by Hon TAM Yiu-chung as amended by Dr Hon YEUNG Sum

"That, in view of the ageing of the population in Hong Kong, this Council urges the Government, in response to the recommendations made by nine major elderly and social service organizations and elderly groups, to formulate a sustainable policy on care for the elderly and pursue vigorous measures to take forward the seven issues of most concern to the elderly, which include:
(a)Long-term care: reinforcing the continuum of community and residential care services, and rendering support to carers of the elderly;
(b)Medical services: alleviating the burden of medical expenses on the elderly, and enhancing the efficiency of medical services;
(c)Disease prevention: introducing health care schemes for the elderly, and improving environmental hygiene;
(d)Mental health: promoting activities which foster a sense of health and worthiness among the elderly, and strengthening the rehabilitation and outreaching services for the elderly;
(e)Retirement protection: studying the establishment of a community-wide retirement protection scheme, providing support for the elderly who opt for returning to their hometowns in the Mainland to spend their twilight years, and allowing the elderly who live with their families to apply independently for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance;
(f)Prevention of elderly abuse: enacting legislation to protect the elderly, providing shelter support for the elderly, and advocating the culture of respect for the elderly and filial piety; and
(g)Accommodation for the elderly: helping the elderly with financial difficulties to solve their accommodation problems, including the introduction of a grading system for residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) in Hong Kong so as to give the elderly greater confidence in living in RCHEs; building more small public rental housing (PRH) units with suitable supporting social services to accommodate them; studying the relaxation of the eligibility criteria for PRH of the elderly who live in their self-owned old properties, and allowing them to put their properties under the trusteeship of non-governmental organizations and to use the rental income to pay for their living expenses, so that they can enjoy a peaceful life,
with a view to continuously improving the quality of life of the elderly and building a society with concern and care for the elderly."

(2)Motion on "Policy on the recycling industry", moved by Hon Andrew LEUNG Kwan-yuen as amended by Hon CHOY So-yuk and further amended by Hon CHAN Yuen-han

"That this Council urges the Government to implement as early as possible a sustainable development plan that adheres to the waste disposal strategy premised on the reduction, recovery and reuse of wastes, which includes implementing the polluters pay principle, formulating a long-term policy on the recycling industry, devising respective schemes on waste separation at source for various trades and communities, implementing the development plan of the 'Recovery Park', considering the imposition of a reasonable green tax, priority should be given by government departments to using locally manufactured recycled products, and establishing a high-level inter-departmental industries facilitation council to co-ordinate the communication and co-operation among various departments in a highly efficient manner so as to enhance public awareness of environmental protection and instill in them the correct attitude to handling wastes, with a view to solving the aggravating environmental pollution problem in Hong Kong as early as possible, as well as creating business opportunities and increasing job opportunities; furthermore, the Government should also implement measures in order that the waste recycling and export industries can be retained and developed, and should set up large regional recyclable collection centres outside the 'Recovery Park' as well as establish a network for collecting recyclable waste in various districts across the territory, so as to increase the opportunities for grass-roots workers and operators of small-scale enterprises to join the recycling industry."