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  Budget Speech
  Helping the Poor, Promoting Self-reliance

70.     Helping the poor is one of our priorities.  The recent establishment of the Commission on Poverty reflects the Government's determination to help the poor and address their needs.  At the first meeting of the Commission, members agreed that its objectives should be to prevent and alleviate poverty and promote self-reliance.  They also agreed that we should use multiple means and channels and actively involve the community to provide the poor with more opportunities, so that they can realise their potential, regain dignity and self-confidence, and move up the social ladder to live a more fulfilled and happier life.

71.    Some of our existing policies already target these objectives.  We have set up the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund and the Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged, which are now open for applications.  Through these funds, we hope to develop a tripartite relationship between the Government, the business community and the non-government organisations, and encourage various entities to mobilise community resources to help individuals and various groups in society cope better with adversity and become self-reliant.  We will review the operation of these funds regularly and examine their resource requirements as and when necessary.

72.     I would like to emphasise that helping the poor does not mean dishing out largesse.  Because every dollar comes from taxpayers' hard-earned money, we must be very careful in our spending.  Besides, providing financial assistance is not the best way to lift people out of poverty.  I believe that what the poor want most is an opportunity to improve their livelihood and that of their families through their own efforts.  Our policies on economic development, employment, education, training and welfare reflect our belief in helping people to help themselves, so that people from all walks of life can participate in our economic development and build a prosperous and harmonious society together.



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2004 | Important notices
Last revision date : 16 March, 2005