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New housing measures: discussion with Lau Ping-cheung & Fred Li & land supply consultation (30 Jun 2018)


-- Due to copyright restriction, no online video is available for this episode. --Hello and welcome to The Pulse. Sunday is the 21st anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. It is also a moment for Hongkongers and the central government to take stock of Chief Executive, Carrie Lam’s first year in office. Some of that report card should focus on how well or badly she has dealt with Hong Kong’s ongoing housing crisis. This week, a step was taken. After weeks of talking about imposing a tax on vacant properties, on Friday the government announced several measures aimed at tackling housing problems. With us in the studio are members of the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee, Lau Ping-cheung and Fred Li to talk about the new measures. Hong Kong’s birth rate has gone down, but our population is still growing, thanks in part to the daily quota of 150 allowed to settle here from the mainland. 830,000 mainland residents have arrived since the Handover and that number’s expected to reach 1.93 million by 2021. The quota’s controlled by the central government. The Chief Executive says it’s irrelevant to our housing issues. She’d rather look for another 1,200 hectares of land to meet estimated need for the next three decades. Hence the setting up of a Task Force on Land Supply in April, and a currently running five-month public consultation. Some critics, even in the administration, say that even now the government is underestimating how much we’re going to need. Others argue that it’s also underestimating the land already available … from sources on which the government seems unwilling to draw. Last Sunday, the people of Turkey cast their votes in snap presidential and parliamentary elections. President Recep Erdogan, who has been in power for more than 15 years, called for early elections in mid-April, 18 months earlier than planned. After 99% of the votes had been counted he had already won a 52.54% share of the national vote. It gives him increased executive powers to appoint high level government officials and senior judges, to dissolve parliament, issue executive decrees, and impose a state of emergency. Lucky citizens. We’ll leave you with images of the elections. See you next week. Goodbye.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Saturday, June 30, 2018
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