The LegCo Reporter
Issue No. 13 (3 March 2005)

At its meeting on 2 March 2005, the Legislative Council passed the following two motions with no legislative effect:

(1)Motion on "Expectations for the Commission on Poverty", moved by Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee

"That, as the Chief Executive announced in his Policy Address delivered early this year the establishment of the Commission on Poverty ('the Commission'), and the Commission, from its incubation to its present inception, lacks a clear positioning and specific plans in regard to the direction for alleviating poverty as well as its mode of operation, this Council urges the Government to vigorously adopt the following proposals regarding the Commission's direction, operation and efforts to promote community engagement:
(a)setting a clear and definite direction for alleviating poverty, and defining the Commission's role and the values behind it;
(b)establishing a benchmark for measuring poverty so as to accurately analyze and assess the problem of poverty in the community, and clearly defining the target recipients of assistance so as to enable a more effective use of resources;
(c)studying the causes of poverty in Hong Kong, examining the overall social structure and existing systems, and identifying the areas of poverty that need to be studied, such as poverty among children and the elderly, working poverty, secondary safety net and the review of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, etc;
(d)as the coverage of the Commission's present membership is inadequate, appointing to the Commission such additional members as representatives from policy bureaux and relevant executive departments responsible for the housing and transport portfolios, etc, as well as from public transport operators, so as to take account of the various aspects of the daily life of the poor;
(e)co-ordinating various policy bureaux and their departments in formulating specific plans for alleviating poverty, establishing feasible and clear objectives for alleviating poverty and setting specific implementation timetables, as well as requiring various departments to submit reports to the Commission on a regular basis, with the latter reporting to the public on the progress of its work and briefing the public after each of its meetings;
(f)setting up an evaluation mechanism for assessing the implications of individual policies on the disparity between the rich and the poor in the community, whereby all new policies and initiatives launched by policy bureaux and departments must be subject to such assessment and be adjusted as appropriate before implementation, and all existing relevant legislation and policies must also undergo this assessment; and
(g)promoting community engagement and the building of partnerships, encouraging the business sector to give support and fulfil their corporate social responsibility, and devolving powers and allocating resources to district organizations and, by making effective use of their flexibility, responding appropriately to the needs of various districts having regard to their different poverty situations, as well as holding regular public forums to enable public participation in the course of formulating the policies on poverty alleviation."

(2)Motion on "Scheme of Control Agreements of the two power companies and the long-term energy policy", moved by Hon LEE Wing-tat as amended by Hon CHAN Kam-lam and further amended by Hon Tommy CHEUNG Yu-yan

"That, as the Scheme of Control Agreements of the two power companies will expire in 2008, this Council requests the Government to seriously consider the following principles in order to decide on the way forward for the future development of the electricity market:
(a)tariffs charged by the power companies should be reasonable;
(b) the mechanism for tariff adjustments should be more transparent, and a study should be conducted on the introduction of a mechanism that allows both upward and downward tariff adjustments;
(c) any new scheme of control agreements should have adequate flexibility and should allow for a review within a reasonable number of years;
(d) more considerations should be taken into account in determining the permitted rate of return, and the rate should be reduced;
(e) effective measures should be adopted to minimize the emissions of pollutants in the generation of electricity;
(f) the power companies should be encouraged to develop and introduce the use of renewable energy;
(g) the stability and safety in the supply of electricity should be maintained;
(h) the full implementation of power interconnection should be actively studied; and
(i) the power companies should use more environmentally friendly energy sources;
furthermore, the Government should also study the feasibility of establishing an energy authority with the responsibility of formulating a long-term and comprehensive energy policy."