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Monday, January 12, 2015, 08:59

Housing remains top concern: Poll

By China Daily in Hong Kong

Results of a latest poll showed Hong Kong people still considered housing the top priority to be addressed in Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s third Policy Address scheduled for Wednesday.

The poll also indicated a growing concern for public governance and political development.

The 1,077 people who responded to the Hong Kong Research Association’s poll between Jan 2 and 8 were asked to weigh the urgency of 10 policy aspects on a scale of five. Housing and land supply took the top spot with a score of 3.91, followed by healthcare (3.65) and education (3.61).

The score of housing and land in this survey was the highest since it was first conducted in 2010.

Another noteworthy trend shown up in this year’s survey was reflected in the score for political development, which jumped from 3.24 in 2013 to 3.46, while that for public governance increased from 3.42 to 3.57, surpassing those for the economy and social welfare.

The pollster believes the higher concerns on public governance and political progress had something to do with the illegal occupation protests that were quelled last month.

Some 64 percent of the respondents said it was “necessary” for the Policy Address to be seen to be proactive in the wake of the protests. Among them, 31 percent said they anticipated greater efforts by the government to reach out to other stakeholders, including political parties and the public. Another 14 percent said they wanted the government to have a tighter grasp on public sentiments.

The pollster urged the government, having learned a lesson from the illegal protests, to refine its policies. Given that 43 percent of those surveyed claimed to have a low expectation on the forthcoming policy address, the pollster advised the government to make concrete efforts on the housing front.

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