The Government announced that it would step up its crackdown on the illegal use of the $2 bus concession for the elderly, and two members of the Executive Council, who had expressed concerns about the long-term financial burden of the concession scheme, supported the new measures, but both felt that they did not fully address the problem. Among them, the convener of the guild, Ip Lau Suk-yee, pointed out that this move only slightly helped to control expenses, and did not solve the problem of "long car short ride". Another guild member, Chan Kin-po, suggested that the authorities consider reviewing the concessionary arrangement.
In March this year, when bus companies applied for a fare increase, she wrote that the increase applied by bus companies was too high, and pointed out that with the aging population, the government's subsidies on ride concessions may become "bottomless", saying that the government's crackdown on non-compliance cases will only help control expenses slightly, and does not solve the problem of "long cars and short rides" of beneficiaries.
Ms Ip Lau Suk-yee: Resources should be used to improve dental services for the elderly
She pointed out that while the beneficiaries would be happy to enjoy the concessions, the measures involved huge public expenditures, and the original intention of the $2 Ride Concession Scheme was to benefit retirees, and the Government's earlier lowering of the age threshold to 60 was contrary to the original intent. She also believes that there are still many needs among the elderly and that it would be better to use public funds and devote resources to improving dental care for the elderly.
Another guild member, Chan Kin-bo, who had publicly questioned the heavy financial burden of the $2 Ride Concession Scheme in the long run, also pointed out that the $2 Ride Concession Scheme involved huge expenses and he agreed to deal with the irregularities first so that the Government could grasp the actual expenditure before reviewing the scheme at a later stage.
Chan: Consideration should be given to reviewing the concession arrangement
As for the direction of the review, he suggested that this include considering whether to change the concession from the current $60 to half price for people aged 64 to 2 and $65 for persons aged 2 or above, or formulating a fixed daily allowance to ensure that public funds are put to good use.
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