Carrie Lam to read only highlights of her first policy address

October 10, 2017 13:31
Chief executive Carrie Lam has decided to extend the press conference following the policy address to 75 minutes from 45 minutes. Photo: CNSA

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will break with tradition by not reading her entire speech during her maiden policy address on Wednesday.

Instead, Lam is expected to use more than 60 minutes to read the highlights of her speech to help citizens focus on the vision and mission of her administration in the coming five years, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

A two-tier profit tax is expected to be announced in the policy address, where the applicable tax rate for the first HK$2 million profit from any enterprises will be halved from the existing 16.5 percent to about 8 to 8.5 percent.

Lam is also expected to shed light on how the government could use dividends from its stake in MTR Corp. to subsidize the public transport, as well as details on her proposed affordable housing scheme for local first-time buyers.

Changes are also expected on the cover design of the policy address and the press conference following the speech.

Copies of the speech and related materials will be distributed to the public from noon to 7 pm on Wednesday at 20 Home Affairs Office inquiry centers and at the footbridge entrance of government headquarters.

Bernard Chan, convenor of the executive council, said during an RTHK interview on Monday that Lam took the advice from council members that policy addresses tended to run too long and they became less inspirational.

In a new and shortened format, Lam and her team hope to bring out key points, and more importantly, how Lam will lead Hong Kong in the next five years.

Lawmaker Charles Mok said the proposed change is not going to have a big impact as the content of the policy address will be made public anyway.

What matters most is if the policies Lam is going to announce would actually benefit the people of Hong Kong, Mok said.

Lam cancelled the tradition of briefing sessions with senior management of various media outlets on the day of the policy address.

Instead, she has opted to extend the press conference from 45 minutes to 75 minutes.

Lam is also expected to announce adjustments in the government's purchasing program, with the introduction of innovative technologies as a key benchmark.

Other new government initiatives expected to be rolled out include subsidies for elderly citizens who participate in a trial of healthy aging technology products.

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