The LegCo Reporter
Issue No. 12 (16 February 2006)

At its meeting on 15 February 2006, the Legislative Council passed the following resolution:

At the same meeting, the Council passed the following three motions with no legislative effect:

(1)Motion on "Implementing the recommendations in the Report on Working Poverty by the Subcommittee to Study the Subject of Combating Poverty", moved by Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee

"That this Council endorses the Report on Working Poverty by the Subcommittee to Study the Subject of Combating Poverty, and urges the Government to implement the recommendations therein."

(2)Motion on "Opening up the electricity market", moved by Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip as amended by Hon Andrew LEUNG Kwan-yuen and further amended by Hon KWONG Chi-kin

"That this Council urges the Government to earnestly improve the current phenomenon of natural monopoly in the electricity market in Hong Kong, so as to avoid prejudicing consumers' interests, and demands that the Government implement the following measures to ensure that Hong Kong's electricity market is free from monopoly, so that the people of Hong Kong can enjoy reasonably-charged, safe and stable electricity supply services:
(a)re-setting electricity tariffs at a reasonable level by lowering the permitted return allowed to the power companies in respect of their electricity-related operations for each year from the current 13.5% of their average net fixed assets to 7% or below;
(b)strengthening the regulation of power plants to ensure that their operations and the pollutants emitted comply with the relevant environmental protection standards, and formulating practicable measures as well as providing proper incentives to ensure that the power companies actively develop renewable energy;
(c)setting a timetable for opening up the electricity market in Hong Kong and aiming for its implementation in the coming 10 years, so as to introduce competition and break the current natural monopoly of Hong Kong's electricity market by the two companies;
(d)requesting the CLP Power Hong Kong Limited to offer rebates to its customers in proportion to their electricity consumption by the year 2008 using funds from its Development Fund;
(e)actively studying the full implementation of power interconnection; and
(f)requesting that the two power companies shall ensure the stability of their workforce, and recruit their technical staff at all levels in a planned manner and provide them with continuing training, so as to secure a reliable and stable supply of electricity."

(3)Motion on "Reducing the salaries tax", moved by Hon SIN Chung-kai as amended by Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, Hon CHAN Kam-lam and Hon James TO Kun-sun

"That, as the Treasury of the Government has benefited from the continuous recovery of Hong Kong's economy, which has improved the Government's financial position and will likely advance the elimination of the fiscal deficit, this Council urges the Government to make appropriate use of its resources to provide the grass-roots people with adequate services, and to reduce the rates of salaries tax by reverting them to at least the 2002-03 level; to revert the personal allowances and the marginal tax bands to the 2002-03 level; to raise the child allowance and the allowances for dependent parent/grandparent; to further increase the entitlement period and the amount of home loan interest deduction; and to study allowing voluntary contributions to the Mandatory Provident Fund to be tax deductible up to a ceiling, so as to alleviate the tax burden on the middle class and the grass-roots people, thereby stimulating consumer spending and creating jobs."