Pay freeze for major gov't officials, more jobs for graduates: HKSAR chief executive

2020-06-09 17:01:46Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said Tuesday the HKSAR government will roll out more measures, include freezing pay rise for major government officials and providing employment opportunities for new graduates, to tackle the current economic difficulties together with companies and residents.

The remuneration for the chief executive and politically-appointed officials of the HKSAR government, which is adjusted annually in accordance with the change in consumer price index, will remain unchanged in the coming year, and the pay rise for members of the HKSAR Executive Council will also be frozen, Lam said at a media session before the Executive Council meeting on Tuesday morning.

To help with the employment of students scheduled to graduate from universities, colleges and high schools this and next year, the HKSAR government will offer 5,000 more summer internships for them, and has cooperated with private companies to create 30,000 time-limited jobs, according to Lam.

The HKSAR government has rolled out several rounds of economic relief measures to safeguard employment and support companies and residents struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Employment Support Scheme (ESS) under the HKSAR government's Anti-epidemic Fund have received more than 140,000 applications from eligible employers and more than 190,000 from self-employed persons for wage subsidies.

About 25,500 of the applications have been processed and the first tranche of wage subsidies, which is estimated to cost about 4.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 620 million U.S. dollars), will be disbursed starting from June 12, Lam said.

She also called on eligible employers and self-employed persons to submit applications before the deadline on June 14.

Expressing regret at and condemnation of calls for strikes in Hong Kong, the chief executive stressed that the effectiveness of government measures to safeguard and create jobs will be affected if social stability remains lacking and incidents involving violence and challenging national sovereign, security, development interests and territorial integrity continue to occur.

The HKSAR government will fully support the national security legislation by the national legislature for Hong Kong and has started to establish and improve relevant implementation mechanisms, she said, urging Hong Kong residents to support the legislation.


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