17 July 2018
The Hong Kong government plans to reward district councilors more from next year. Photo: CNSA
The Hong Kong government plans to reward district councilors more from next year. Photo: CNSA

District councilors to be paid more from next term

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, in his annual policy address Wednesday, has proposed to increase the honorarium of district councilors by 15 percent, starting from their new term in January 2016.

Based on the current pay of HK$25,000 (US$3,224), it means those who win the district councilor election scheduled in November could see their monthly honorarium rise to HK$28,750 after they take charge next year, Ming Pao Daily noted Thursday.

Leung also proposed to offer every councilor a new provision of HK$10,000 per term to cover expenses for duty visits.

Government sources were quoted as saying that the pay raise is aimed at compensating district councilors for their increased workload, especially now that there are half of them working full time.

Details will be discussed later by the Legislative council’s Panel on Home Affairs before an application is submitted to the Finance Committee for fund appropriation, the sources said.

Law Kin-hei, vice chairman of the Democratic Party and a South District councilor, said the raise and additional allowance will not help much in bettering district administration. Instead of offering such political rewards for the supportive pro-establishment camp, the government should revise rules to enhance functional roles of district councils and improve the current advisory structure, he said.

Leung also announced that as a pilot scheme introduced last year in Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long giving more power to district officers on some issues has proved highly successful, the government will actively consider providing additional manpower and resources to implement the scheme in all 18 districts starting from the next district council term.

The pilot scheme in Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long gave district officers the power to decide on and coordinate work to address certain management and environmental hygiene problems in some public areas.

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