Alleviating People's Hardship, Sharing the Burden in Times of Difficulties
109. I firmly believe that public resources should be used where appropriate. Although our fiscal position in the coming year is unlikely to be robust, we will continue to spend to meet our commitments to the community, particularly the middle class and disadvantaged groups, and at the same time to alleviate economic contraction.
110. The relief measures announced in the last Budget and by the Chief Executive in July 2008 will continue to alleviate people's hardship in the coming year. For example, expenditure on electricity charges subsidy in 2009-10 is estimated at $4.7 billion. The subsidy should enable people to spare more money for consumption, which in turn will stimulate the economy. Other measures such as the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Elderly Owners, short-term food assistance services and half fare concessions for students will continue to help ease the burden of the elderly, lower-income groups and parents.