The Week Ahead January 19th

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Policy briefing week. PWSC and Finance Committee will be quiet this week.

Monday

 

Policy brieffing on the 2015 Policy Address

Four LegCo Panels today will host briefing on the Policy Address delivered by CY Leung last week. Some highlights:

 

Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting

  • $80 million funding to support the basic operation of the Hong Kong Design Centre from July 2015 to March 2019.
  • Injection of $200 million into the Film Development Fund to sustain its operation.

 

Panel on Public Service

  • To raise the retirement age of new recruits joining the Civil Service from around mid-2015 to 65 for the civilian grades and 60 for the disciplined services (police, prison staff, etc) grades, regardless of their ranks.

 

Panel on Constitutional Affairs

The Panel will first discuss the consultation document on the method for selecting the Chief Executive by universal suffrage released two weeks ago. Members will then be briefed by Raymond Tam on the Policy Address related to constitutional affairs, such as the universal suffrage in 2017, the arrangement of 2016 LegCo election and this year’s District Council elections.

 

Policy briefing cum meeting of Panel on Health Services

  • To increase a total of 250 beds in Tuen Mun Hospital, Pok Oi Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and Ruttonjee Hospital in 2015-16.
  • To develop a new acute hospital at the Kai Tak Development area.

 

Rimsky Yuen in Sri Lanka

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen is in Sri Lanka, attending the Conference of Asian Attorneys General hosted by the Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka. Attorneys general and officials from Asian countries and regions will gather at the conference to discuss their roles in a changing Asia. Mr Yuen will be back on the 20th.

 

 

Tuesday

 

1 down, 17 to go

Establishment Subcommittee will hold the third special meeting to discuss late membership of 17 pro-establishment members. A total of 18 members have applied to join the Subcommittee but Chan Kin-por’s (FC- Insurance) application was voted down by pan-dems last time. As a result, 17 applications are left to handle.

 

List of applicants:

  • DAB’s Chan Kam-lam, Tam Yiu-chung, Wong Kwok-hing, Chan Hak-kan, Ip Kwok-him, Chan Han-pan, Leung Che-cheung, Elizabeth Quat, Ann Chiang and Christopher Chung
  • BPA’s Andrew Leung, Priscilla Leung and Lo Wai-kwok
  • Liberal Party’s Frankie Yick
  • FTU’s Alice Mak
  • Tony Tse
  • Paul Tse

 

 

Policy briefing on the 2015 Policy Address – round 2

Two LegCo Panels will hold policy briefing on the 2015 Policy Address.

 

Panel on Commerce and Industry

  • $1 billion Dedicated Fund to support Hong Kong enterprises to develop brands, upgrade and restructure operations, and explore the domestic (China) sales market.
  • Injection of $5 billion into the Innovation and Technology Fund.

 

Panel on Manpower

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng will talk about the Qualification Framework which promotes lifelong learning and sets industry standards, while Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung will mention the increase of current statutory minimum wage rate by $2.5 to $32.5 per hour.

 

FTU members Chan Yuen-han, Kwok Wai-keung and Tang Ka-piu will propose the creation of a Subcommittee to study issues related to standard working hours and another Subcommittee to study the arrangement of offsetting severance payments and long service payments payable to employees under the Panel.  The latter is about the FTU working back from the deal done with business, whereby the business community acquiesed to the MPF as long as they could use contributions made by employers as an offset against long term severance payment.

 

 

Wednesday

 

Policy briefing on the 2015 Policy Address – round 3

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man will attend the Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene in LegCo to talk about policies in the Policy Address that are related to his Bureau, such as the proposed agricultural policy, for which a public consultation is underway. The consultation will end on 31 March and aims to seek advice from the public on exploring the feasibility of establishing an Agricultural-Park and establishing a Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund but no specific amount of the Fund is disclosed for consultation.

 

 

Council meeting

 

Bills for second and third reading:

 

Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (Amendment) Bill 2014

Allowing phased withdrawal of MPF upon early retirement and terminal illness.

Last Meeting: 6th meeting on 2nd December.

 

Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) Bill 2014

Regulation of pharmaceutical products in Hong Kong.  Packaging, GMP, documentation.

Last Meeting: 9th meeting on 16th December..

 

Members’ motion:

BPA’s Abraham Shek (FC- Real Estate and Construction) considers the LegCo has been slow in approving funding applications for infrastructure projects which has caused delay in many constructions and will inevitably push up construction cost and affect the livelihood of practitioners of the construction industry and relevant industries. He urges the Administration to “face up to the problems concerned, and proactively join hands with this Council to seek solutions, so as to expedite the approval of outstanding and new funding applications for infrastructure projects.”

 

Look for the amendments (in the form of a wishlist) that give detail to this general motion.

 

 

Thursday

 

LegCo members will meet with DC members from Tuen Mun and Tai Po. A luncheon will also be held.

 

 

Friday

 

Moment of peace

Public Works Subcommittee will discuss the $1,250.7 million project to construct a Government Complex in Tuen Mun which will include sports and community facilities. Another construction project to be discussed is the development of waste electrical and electronic equipment treatment and recycling facility at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun which will cost $548.6 million. These two construction projects are likely to be approved by members as they bear no controversy.

 

Police to face challenges from LegCo

Finance Committee will discuss some spending on IT procurement for educational uses before it discusses the $658.41 million funding for the replacement of 18 police launches for the Marine Region of the Police. It is anticipated that pan-dems will not quickly pass the funding request and will confront the Police. However, the chances of a full-blown filibuster is low as the replacement project will not be treated as political.