Tang reveals election platform
Updated: 2011-12-20 07:20
By Li Likui (HK Edition)
Chief Executive candidate Henry Tang gestures at a campaign rally at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday. Aaron Tam / Agence France-Presse
Former chief secretary makes strong pitch for middle-class, promises special committee
Chief Executive hopeful Henry Tang on Monday promised a people-focused administration if elected.
Tang made his comments at a campaign rally at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Tang set out six policy goals, saying he will give special attention to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as to the middle-class.
Tang went on that he will not fail the middle-class, promising that an administration under him would provide more resources to help ordinary working people.
Tang described the middle-class as those falling within a monthly salary range of HK$20,000 to HK$80,000, wider than the government's parameters of HK$10,000 to HK$40,000.
Tang said there is a trend in the city that the middle-class is sliding downward. He said he cannot sit back and watch it happen. Tang said a special committee would be set up to address key issues, such as housing, health insurance, education and others. The committee would fall under the chairmanship of the chief secretary for administration.
"We should expand the scope of the middle class," said Tang, advocating a strong and strengthened middle-class as a guarantee of the society's stability and harmony.
He also proposed tax concessions to middle-class workers, including extended tax reduction for those purchasing residences.
Tang suggested medical insurance premiums for middle-class workers be made tax-deductible.
Tang also promised incentives for SMEs, including offering more continuous training, financial and technological support for developing new products and expanding the markets to inland and overseas.
During his speech, Tang promised to build more public housing flats and increase spending on education to 4 percent of GDP, half percentage point up from the current level.
Tang also unveiled his campaign team, which is chaired by David Li Kwok-po, current chief executive of the Bank of East Asia and also a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.
Tang also invited Joseph Yam, former chief executive of the Monetary Authority, as the senior adviser.
Tang was in a room filled with 800 supporters, including some of the city's heavyweights - Allan Zeman, chairman of Ocean Park, Peter Wong, group managing director of HSBC Group, and Pansy Ho Chiu-king, daughter of the Hong Kong and Macao-based businessman Stanley Ho. Movie stars Leon Lai and Stephen Chow also turned up to show their supports.
Tang's rival for the top job, former convenor of the Executive Council Leung Chun-ying said on Monday he had resigned as a non-executive director of Sing Tao News Corporation. The resignation followed a war of words amid which Leung accused the paper of targeting him for the last two months.
Leung said he was resigning to concentrate on his election campaign. He also said he intends to resign from the board of Shui On Land.
(HK Edition 12/20/2011 page1)