SCMP Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Poverty plan meets cool reception

ELLEN CHAN and NIKI LAW

A majority of lawmakers were critical of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's policy speech proposals to combat poverty through community programmes and retraining.
Democrat Law Chi-kwong said the Government did properly understand the problem of poverty.
''The Government has not drawn a line on exactly how much monthly income should be considered poverty in Hong Kong,'' Mr Law said.
Fellow Democrat Yeung Sum questioned the Government's sincerity.
''[Mr] Tung is talking about poverty but he has not even decided which department will be handling these new policies.''
And unionist Leung Yiu-chung said Mr Tung's policies were outdated, unrealistic and showed his ignorance about poverty.
However, Liberal Party chief James Tien Pei-chun supported the 7,000 new jobs initiative, saying it was a good start.
''Increasing temporary jobs is useless to us because what we want is stability and security, '' he said.
His colleague Liberal Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said on-the-job training was a better than Mr Tung's proposed retraining, which had failed in the past.