Council Meeting (Agenda) 28 October 2009



A 09/10-4

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 28 October at 11:00 am,
Thursday 29 October and Friday 30 October 2009 at 9:00 am on each day

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 (Amendment of Schedule 16) Order 2009193/2009
2.Dangerous Goods (Consignment by Air) (Safety) Regulations (Amendment of Schedule) Order 2009194/2009
3.Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Regulation 2008 (Commencement) Notice195/2009
4.Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (General) (Amendment) Regulation 2008 (Commencement) Notice196/2009

Other Papers

1.No. 20-Audited Financial Statements of the Customs and Excise Service Welfare Fund for the year ended 31 March 2009 and its Summary, together with the Director of Audit's Report
(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

2.No. 21-Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund
Annual Report 2008/09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Development)

3.No. 22-Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Fund
Annual Report for the year from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

4.No. 23-Office of the Telecommunications Authority
Trading Fund Report 2008/09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development)

5.No. 24-Hong Kong Post Annual Report 2008/09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development)

II. Questions for Written Replies

1. Hon Miriam LAU to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that quite a number of vehicles involved in numerous traffic accidents in recent years were suspected to be modified vehicles (commonly known as "reassembled cars") which had been assembled with parts dismantled from different vehicles. Due to the low prices of these vehicles, they are very popular with young people and those who have just been issued a driving licence. However, such types of vehicles do not offer adequate protection and cannot withstand the impact on being hit, resulting in serious injuries and deaths of motorists and passengers as well as complete destruction of the vehicles in the event of accidents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of road traffic accidents involving reassembled cars in each of the past five years, the resultant casualties and the ages of the reassembled cars concerned;

    (b)whether it had, in the past five years, assessed if there was an upward trend in the number of reassembled cars in Hong Kong; if it had, of the assessment results; if not, whether it will consider conducting the relevant assessment;

    (c)what measures the authorities have at present to regulate reassembled cars; whether they will study strengthening the regulation of such vehicles, so as to safeguard the safety of consumers and motorists; and

    (d)whether the Transport Department had, in the past five years, discovered any reassembled cars through the arrangement which requires private cars to undergo examinations at designated car testing centres; if it had, of the number and ages of such vehicles; if not, whether it will plan to review the arrangement concerned, so as to strengthen the regulation of reassembled cars?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

2. Hon Jeffrey LAM to ask:
(Translation)

The Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags ("Levy Scheme") has been implemented since 7 July this year, and a levy of 50 cents on each plastic shopping bag ("PSB") distributed by retailers is to be introduced by phases. Chain or large supermarkets, convenience stores as well as personal health and beauty stores are covered in the first phase. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the reduction in the quantity of discarded PSB since the implementation of the Levy Scheme when compared to those of the same period last year, and the total amount of levy received by the Government during the period;

    (b)whether it has, after the implementation of the Levy Scheme, assessed if there are changes in the respective quantities of discarded garbage bags, paper bags, as well as food bags from supermarkets when compared to those of the same period last year; whether there is an increase in the quantity of goods pre-packaged in plastic bags, and whether this will offset the reduction in the quantity of PSB;

    (c)whether it has found out, after the implementation of the Levy Scheme, if the business turnovers of registered retailers have thus been reduced; and

    (d)of the timetable for implementing the next phase of the Levy Scheme?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

3. Hon Frederick FUNG to ask:
(Translation)

It was reported that tap water in Hong Kong is of good quality, and a medical practitioner has advised the public that it is safe to drink boiled tap water. The findings of the tests conducted earlier by the Consumer Council indicate that most of the tested samples of bottled water are not that more hygienic than tap water. Furthermore, it was also reported that the production, transportation, disposal, recycling and other procedures of bottled distilled water or mineral water are all more energy intensive and environment-unfriendly. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)how prevalent the purchase of bottled water is among various government departments at present; of the total annual expenditure in this respect incurred by various departments; whether the Government has compared the differences between purchasing bottled water and providing drinking water directly from water purifiers in areas in terms of expenditure and water quality, etc.; if it has, of the outcome; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (b)given that the residents of Bundanoon, a town in Australia, earlier passed a resolution to ban the sale of bottled water, and that the State of New South Wales also announced the prohibition on the purchase of bottled water by all government institutions on grounds of wastage of money and natural resources, whether the authorities will take the lead in Hong Kong in reducing or even stopping the purchase of bottled distilled water and installing water purifiers in the offices of various government departments, so as to reduce expenditure and energy consumption; if they will not take the lead, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

4. Hon KAM Nai-wai to ask:
(Translation)

The new Scheme of Control Agreements ("SCAs") with the Hong Kong Electric Company Limited ("HEC"), the CLP Power Hong Kong Limited and Castle Peak Power Company Limited (collectively referred to as "CLP") came into effect on 1 January 2009 and 1 October 2008 respectively. After the commencement of the new SCAs, many members of the public have reflected to me that they do not enjoy significant reduction in electricity tariff. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the breakdown of the tariffs and average fuel costs of HEC and CLP from 2007 to 2009, and the projected corresponding figures for 2010 (set out in the table below);

    (Per kilowatt-hour)
    yearHECCLP
    Basic tariffFuel clause chargeNet tariffAverage fuel costsBasic tariffFuel clause chargeNet tariffAverage fuel costs
    2007


    Coal:


    Coal:
    Natural gas:
    Natural gas: Nuclear energy:
    2008


    Coal:


    Coal:
    Natural gas:
    Natural gas: Nuclear energy:
    2009


    Coal:


    Coal:
    Natural gas:
    Natural gas: Nuclear energy:
    2010


    Coal:


    Coal:
    Natural gas:
    Natural gas: Nuclear energy:

    (b)whether it knows the tariffs and average fuel costs (per kilowatt-hour) in the neighbouring places (including Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore) from 2007 to 2009;

    (c)whether it knows the criteria and procedure for determining the levels of fuel cost charges by HEC and CLP;

    (d)of the differences between the new SCAs with HEC and CLP and their respective old agreements which have just expired in terms of permitted rates of return, definitions for fixed assets, accounting treatment for fixed assets as well as determination of assets depreciation, etc;

    (e)whether it had, in the past three years, assessed the rates of reduction in the relevant tariffs after power interconnection between HEC and CLP;

    (f)whether it knows the latest balances in the Development Fund of HEC and the Tariff Stabilization Fund of CLP;

    (g)given the continuous increase in coal prices in 2008, the level of fuel clause charge set by HEC then was not sufficient to cover the actual fuel cost it incurred, as a result, HEC's fuel clause account had accumulated a deficit balance of about $1 billion by the end of 2008, and HEC said that it would carry the deficit balance to the end of 2009, which would only be gradually cleared in the remaining years in the Development Plan period under the new SCA, whether it knows the format and calculation method HEC will use to clear the deficit balance;

    (h)whether it knows if CLP has encountered the similar problem in (g); if so, how CLP will deal with such problem; and

    (i)whether it had, in the past three years, assessed the impact of increasing the percentage of natural gas in the fuel mix for power generation by HEC and CLP on tariffs; if so, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

5. Hon James TO to ask:
(Translation)

When consulting the Kowloon City District Council on the Shatin to Central Link ("SCL") project in May this year, the Government indicated that there would be a change in the location of SCL To Kwa Wan ("TKW") Station, and that it planned to use part of the land in the Kai Tak Development ("KTD") as temporary works sites for the construction of a temporary concrete plant and barging point, with the concrete plant to be built on the site of the proposed multi-purpose stadium complex. As far as I understand, the authorities concerned had never revealed during any relevant consultation exercise conducted prior to May this year that the above facilities would be constructed. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)when the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL") and the Government contemplated the construction of the above facilities; whether the Government has assessed if the period for public consultation on such facilities is adequate; whether MTRCL and the Government will have enough time to study and propose alternative options, when the residents in the neighbourhood raise objection to the construction of such facilities;

    (b)of the stand of the Government on the proposed construction of the above temporary facilities in KTD; given that the Development Bureau ("DEVB") has originally scheduled the construction works of the multi-purpose stadium complex to commence in 2013 but the SCL project (the Sha Tin to Hung Hom section) will only be completed in 2015, whether the Government has assessed the impact of constructing the above facilities at the current sites on the works of the stadium complex and other works;

    (c)regarding the impact of changing the location of TKW Station, apart from the fact that the new location of the Station "will be more favourable to public order and crowd control when large-scale events are held in the stadium complex" as indicated to me by the Government earlier, whether DEVB has assessed what other impact such a change will have on the planning of KTD; and

    (d)given that both TKW Station and Kai Tak Station will be close to Prince Edward Road East after the location of TKW Station has been changed, whether the Government will expedite the study on the provision of a monorail transport link to improve the accessibility of the areas around the proposed Metro Park and consider connecting the transport link to SCL; if so, of the estimated completion time of the study?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

6. Hon WONG Yuk-man to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government provide the following statistics in table form:
    (a)the respective numbers of persons arrested, prosecuted and directly repatriated to their places of origin without being prosecuted in each of the past five years because they were involved in taking up employment during their stay in Hong Kong and thus violated the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115); and

    (b)among those who were prosecuted in (a), the respective numbers of persons convicted, acquitted and against whom the prosecution had offered no evidence; and a breakdown of the number of persons convicted by the industry of the employment they took up (list out using the table below)?

    IndustryNumber of persons convicted
    cleansing
    security
    catering
    retail
    decoration and construction
    transportation and logistics
    sex work
    domestic helper
    others
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

7. Hon IP Wai-ming to ask:
(Translation)

Since the commissioning of the Kowloon Southern Link, MTR Hung Hom Station has become a super interchange station for the East Rail, the West Rail and cross-harbour tunnel buses, with a significant increase in pedestrian flows. Some members of the public have relayed to me that during peak hours when people go to work and get off work, the situation inside and outside the Station (including the footbridge leading from the MTR station to the cross-harbour tunnel bus stops) is congested and chaotic. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the number as well as the rate of increase/decrease of passengers using Hung Hom Station and the cross-harbour tunnel bus stops in Hung Hom during peak hours, before and after the Station has become the interchange station for the East Rail and the West Rail;

    (b)of the number of people deployed by the authorities and the MTR Corporation Limited each day during peak hours for maintaining order and diverting pedestrian flows inside and outside Hung Hom Station; whether additional manpower will be deployed to maintain order during peak hours, as well as whether measures will be formulated to control pedestrian flows inside and outside Hung Hom Station; and

    (c)whether the authorities will consider, in the long run, constructing more connecting facilities, such as pedestrian subways or footbridges, to connect MTR Hung Hom Station, the cross-harbour tunnel bus stops and adjoining areas?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

8. Hon Albert CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

It has been learnt that the Government has planted more trees of native species in the countryside in recent years, as compared with the past. However, I understand that many tree saplings cannot survive as the authorities planted them during unsuitable seasons (including winter). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of trees planted in each of the past three years and, among them, the respective numbers of trees belonging to exotic and native species;

    (b)among the newly planted trees in (a), how many of them are already dead and why; and

    (c)whether the authorities will consider not planting trees in winter and planting trees in spring instead, so as to enhance the survival rate of trees; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

9. Hon LAU Kong-wah to ask:
(Translation)

I understand that currently some financial services companies sell investment funds to investors in the form of insurance products. As such companies are not insurance companies and the funds are sold in the form of insurance products, the funds are not subject to regulation by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and the Securities and Futures Commission. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows if the aforesaid companies are subject to regulation and investigation by the authorities concerned when their sales and marketing procedures or practices contain features which mislead or deceive investors, and whether there are channels for investors who had been deceived to lodge complaints; and

    (b)focusing on the operation of the aforesaid companies and the impact of the sale of their investment products on investors, whether the authorities will study the establishment of a dedicated monitoring mechanism so as to regulate and investigate the companies concerned?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

10. Hon Ronny TONG to ask:
(Translation)

In the Final Report of the Study on Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy ("the HK2030 Study") released in October 2007, the Government mentioned that with regard to the protection of rural areas, "the rest of Hong Kong, comprising largely woodland, shrubland, grassland, agricultural land and rural settlements will primarily remain untouched by strategic development proposals, thereby facilitating the continued protection of our valuable natural resources". Besides, quite a number of villagers and other individuals concerned have told me that they were dissatisfied with the Government's arrangements concerning land ownership for rural land development projects. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Government has, after the release of the Report on the HK2030 Study, formulated a development blueprint for the development of rural land in the New Territories for the next 20 years; if it has, what the specific objectives of the relevant development strategy are, as well as when it will conduct consultation on the development blueprint;

    (b)what formats and steps the Government will adopt for conducting consultation before implementing the development blueprint (including whether it will conduct consultation on the entire development blueprint or on different development projects of the blueprint, and if the various government departments concerned will be tasked with or consultants will be commissioned to undertake the consultation work), as well as how the consultation timetable will be set; and

    (c)in the face of the community's needs for developing rural areas, its respect for green ecology and demand for rural life, how the Government strikes a balance when drawing up the development strategy for rural land in the New Territories, as well as how it resolves the relevant problems of land ownership when implementing the policy on rural development?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

11. Hon LEE Wing-tat to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that suspected cases of fly-tipping of waste and unauthorized developments were uncovered in recent months in the rural areas of the New Territories, including Ho Sheung Heung, Luk Keng and Ma Shi Chau. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the progress of the follow-up actions currently taken by the government departments concerned to tackle cases of fly-tipping of waste and unauthorized developments in the aforesaid three areas, including whether those departments have required the land owners or persons involved in the cases to clear and reinstate the lands, conducted investigations to ascertain if there were cases of contravention of the law, and taken legal action against the offenders in respect of their civil or criminal liabilities;

    (b)whether under the existing policy, the staff of the relevant government departments have the authority to require the persons involved in the cases to stop fly-tipping immediately when such situations are discovered during inspections; if they have such authority, of the enforcement actions taken in the past two years;

    (c)given that the waste in some of the aforesaid cases come from government projects, whether the government departments concerned have investigated such cases and imposed penalties on the offending contractors and individuals; and whether it had found, in the past two years, contractors of other government projects involved in similar fly-tipping activities; if so, of the relevant figures and details of the follow-up actions; and

    (d)given that the trend in recent years shows that most of the fly-tipping cases involve wetlands of natural conservation or ecological value or lots which were originally zoned as Closed Areas, whether the Government has conducted studies to find out if those fly-tipping activities are related to individuals intending to ruin the ecology of those lands with such activities and then filing applications to change the uses of the lands afterwards so as to generate profits?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

12. Hon Starry LEE to ask:
(Translation)

Internet computer services centres (commonly known as "Internet cafes") have become one of the major places of leisure for young people and students. The Home Affairs Bureau has drawn up the Code of Practice for Internet Computer Services Centres Operators ("the Code") for voluntary compliance by the trade. The Code provides guidelines on fire and building safety, noise control, maintenance of public order, crime prevention, Internet content, smoking, ventilation and hygiene facilities, including the guideline that persons under 16 should not remain in Internet cafes after midnight on weekdays and after 2:00 am on Saturdays and public holidays. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current number of Internet cafes in Hong Kong (broken down by District Council districts);

    (b)of the respective numbers of inspections of such premises conducted by law enforcement officers in each of the past three years in respect of the three areas of fire safety, building safety and law and order; whether non-compliance with the Code will be recorded during the inspections; if so, of the details of the non-compliance; and, among these cases, the number of those involving breaches of the time restrictions regarding the reception of persons under 16;

    (c)of the total number of complaints about Internet cafes received by the authorities in the past three years; the nature of such complaints; and, among them, the respective numbers of cases of the persons in charge or customers of the Internet cafes being prosecuted and convicted; and

    (d)whether the authorities will review the existing regime concerned and strengthen the regulation of Internet cafes (which includes reconsidering the introduction of legislation to regulate the operation of Internet cafes with reference to the relevant legislation of neighbouring places); if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

13. Hon WONG Ting-kwong to ask:
(Translation)

The Government has officially launched the Qualifications Framework with effect from 5 May last year, and a pilot scheme for Recognition of Prior Learning ("RPL") has also been implemented since June of the same year for three industries for the purpose of assessing the qualifications of employees with work experience. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of employees who have participated in the RPL pilot scheme since the implementation of the mechanism concerned; under which level of qualifications of the RPL mechanism their assessments were mostly made; of the respective percentages of the numbers of such employees in the total number of employees in the relevant industries; as well as which industry has the largest number of applicants;

    (b)of the work that has been undertaken so far to promote the RPL mechanism, so as to encourage employees to participate in the aforesaid pilot scheme; whether the authorities will step up publicity work in this regard in the next few years; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that it has been reported earlier that the number of participants in the aforesaid pilot scheme was on the low side, whether the authorities will conduct a review again to collect views of different industries for reference and adopt measures to refine the mechanism concerned; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

14. Hon Audrey EU to ask:
(Translation)

It is learnt that Zhuhai city is developing wind power projects in Hengqin Island, Gaolan Harbour and Hebao Island. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has found out from the relevant mainland authorities the details of the development of wind power in the above places; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)it had, in the past three years, assessed the potential for the development of electricity generation by renewable energy sources, such as wind power and solar power, in the coastal areas of the Pearl River Delta ("PRD"); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)it had, in the past three years, assessed the feasibility of jointly developing renewable energy projects by Hong Kong and PRD cities; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

15. Dr Hon Joseph LEE to ask:
(Translation)

It was reported that early this year a patient was not allowed to board public transport because she was carrying a portable oxygen cylinder. Moreover, an academic suggested such patients to choose travelling on Rehabuses. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether there are guidelines or relevant ordinances at present imposing restriction on people carrying portable oxygen cylinders travelling on public transport; if so, of the relevant details;

    (b)whether it has plans to urge public transport operators to provide additional facilities, so as to assist people carrying portable oxygen cylinders in using public transport services; if it has such plans, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)of the existing number of Rehabuses and their utilization rate; whether it had assessed in the past three years if the provision of Rehabus met the needs of the aforesaid patients, and of the relevant details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

16. Hon Mrs Regina IP to ask:
(Translation)

According to the press release issued by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on 2 September 2009 and the relevant information provided on the Government Bond Programme's website, the tender for the inaugural issue of Government Bonds under the Institutional Bond Issuance Programme had been completed. "A total of HK$3,500 million two-year Government Bonds were offered under the Institutional Bond Issuance Programme. The issue was well received by institutional investors, with the ratio of bonds applied for to bonds issued (i.e. the bid-to-cover ratio) reaching 6.45. The average price accepted was 100.65, implying an annualised yield of 0.59%." In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)why only HK$3,500 million government bonds were issued this time; what criteria/data were used in calculating this amount; and whether the decision was made by the Financial Secretary or the Monetary Authority;

    (b)given that it has been reported that the balance of the Hong Kong banking system earlier rose to almost $250 billion due to an influx of hot money, whether the Government will consider expediting the issuance of bonds (Exchange Fund Bills or government bonds) to absorb the surplus liquidity in the market; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (c)when it will start implementing the Government Retail Bond Issuance Programme, and of the details ; and

    (d)given that The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited ("HKMC") issued a total of HK$12.4 billion corporate debts in the first half of 2009, claiming that it could "promote the bond market development", and while the overriding objective of the Government Bond Programme is to promote the further and sustainable development of the local bond market in Hong Kong through systematic issuance of government bonds, whether the Financial Secretary will consider ceasing the issuance of HKMC's bonds and handing over the entire "important duty" of promoting the local bond market to the Government Bond Programme in the future?
Public Officer to reply : The Financial Secretary

17. Hon WONG Kwok-hing to ask:
(Translation)

The Government has recently announced that the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate from June to August this year was 5.4%. However, the unemployment rate for the 15 to 19 age group in the period from May to July was as high as 28.7%. Regarding the issues of the youth seeking employment and starting their own business, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current total number of programmes set up by the Government to assist the youth in seeking employment; the respective numbers of places and participants of the various programmes in each of the past three years, and the employment rates of the participants after they had completed the programmes concerned;

    (b)whether the Government is currently implementing programmes to provide financial assistance to the youth to start their own business; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that many countries in the world are currently implementing dedicated programmes to help the youth to set up their own business, whether the authorities will consider setting up a loan fund, so as to support the plans of the youth to start their own business?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

18. Hon Paul TSE to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that illegal provision of tour guide services in Hong Kong by mainland tour escorts has become rampant. Moreover, quite a number of members of the trade have reflected to me that the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong ("TIC") is unable to take proper action despite receiving the relevant reports. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the respective numbers of complaints and reports received by TIC and the Immigration Department concerning the aforesaid situation in each of the past three years and, among such complaints and reports, the number of cases in which prosecutions were instituted; whether it has assessed the loss of job opportunities by local tour guides because of the aforesaid situation;

    (b)of the major reasons for failing to initiate prosecutions in respect of some of the complaints and reports in (a), as well as the ways to plug the loopholes concerned; and

    (c)what policies and measures are currently in place to prevent and curb mainland tours from assigning mainland tour escorts to provide tour guide services illegally in Hong Kong, so as to safeguard the job opportunities of local tour guides and escorts?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

19. Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung to ask:
(Translation)

Recently, I have received complaints from chronic disease patients one after another that the Government's support for patients with "visceral diseases" is grossly inadequate. Regarding the support for patients with stoma, intestinal cancer and bladder cancer, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the respective numbers of the above three types of patients in each year from 2004 till now (list out using the table below);

    YearNumber of patients with stomaNumber of patients with intestinal cancerNumber of patients with bladder cancer
    2004


    2005


    2006


    2007


    2008


    2009



    (b)whether the Government had, in the past five years, provided financial assistance to patient concern groups or patient groups for those three types of patients; if so, of the amounts of financial assistance broken down by recipient group; if not, the reasons for that, and whether the Government had disregarded the needs of such organizations;

    (c)whether it has assessed if persons with permanent stoma are eligible for Disability Allowance ("DA") and a permanent Registration Card for People with Disabilities ("Registration Card"); if the assessment result is in the affirmative, why the applications for DA and the Registration Card from some of these persons were rejected; if the assessment result is in the negative, why some of these persons have been certified by doctors in public hospitals to fall within the definition of "severely disabled" under the DA Scheme and eligible for the Registration Card; whether it has assessed if there are inconsistencies in the vetting and approving process; and

    (d)of the respective numbers of persons with stoma who were granted DA and the Registration Card in the past five years?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

20. Hon CHEUNG Kwok-che to ask:
(Translation)

At present, the rents for private housing continue to increase. A survey conducted by an organization has even found that the monthly rents per square foot for many cubicle apartments and "cage homes" are even higher than those for luxurious residential units, and exceed the maximum levels of rent allowance ("MRA") per month provided to Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme recipients. As a result, those recipients have to meet the shortfall using other subsidies and are plunged into great hardship. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the process for determining the above MRA by the Government;

    (b)of the details of the mechanism for reviewing MRA; and

    (c)when the authorities will review MRA again?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

III. Members' Motions

Motion of Thanks

Hon Miriam LAU:
(Translation)

That this Council thanks the Chief Executive for his address.

Amendments to the motion
(i)Hon Frederick FUNG: (Translation)

To add ", but expresses deep regret at the Policy Address's failure to put forward any specific alleviation measures to respond to the difficulties currently faced by the grassroots, as well as its lack of any medium and long-term strategies to solve the problem of the disparity between the rich and the poor" immediately before the full stop.

(ii)Hon Emily LAU: (Translation)

To add ", but expresses regret at the Chief Executive's failure to perform his duty to approach the Central Government to strive for the implementation of the election of the Chief Executive and all Legislative Council Members by universal suffrage in 2012" immediately before the full stop.

(iii)Hon WONG Sing-chi: (Translation)

To add ", but expresses regret that the Chief Executive completely ignores the problems of worsening disparity between the rich and the poor and the drastic increase in the poverty population" immediately before the full stop.

(iv)Hon Alan LEONG: (Translation)

To add ", but expresses deep regret at the Chief Executive's failure to provide a roadmap for universal suffrage in the Policy Address, as well as his failure to honour his election promise of 'settling the issue of universal suffrage once and for all' " immediately before the full stop.

Public Officers to attend are listed in the Appendix

Clerk to the Legislative Council