LegCo to consider a motion under Article 73(9) of the Basic Law
The Legislative Council (LegCo) will hold a meeting on Wednesday (January 9) at 11am in the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. During the meeting, Members will consider a motion under Article 73(9) of the Basic Law.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The following is issued on behalf of Legislative Council Secretariat:
The Legislative Council ( LegCo ) will hold a meeting on Wednesday ( January 9 ) at 11am in the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. During the meeting, Members will consider a motion under Article 73( 9 ) of the Basic Law.
The motion, initiated jointly by Mr Albert Ho, Mr Lee Cheuk-yan, Mr James To, Mr Leung Yiu-chung, Ms Emily Lau, Mr Frederick Fung, Dr Joseph Lee, Mr Ronny Tong, Ms Cyd Ho, Mr Cheung Kwok-che, Mr Alan Leong, Mr Leung Kwok-hung, Mr Albert Chan, Mr Wong Yuk-man, Ms Claudia Mo, Mr Wu Chi-wai, Mr Gary Fan, Mr Charles Peter Mok, Mr Chan Chi-chuen, Dr Kenneth Chan, Mr Kenneth Leung, Dr Kwok Ka-ki, Mr Dennis Kwok, Dr Fernando Cheung, Mr Sin Chung-kai, Dr Helena Wong and Mr Ip Kin-yuen ( 27 Members ) and to be moved by Mr Leung Kwok-hung. The wording of the motion is: "Whereas not less than one-fourth of all the Members of this Council have jointly initiated this motion charging the Chief Executive Mr Leung Chun Ying with serious breaches of law and/or dereliction of duty ( as particularized in the Schedule and Annexes appended to this motion ); and whereas the said Mr Leung Chun Ying has refused to resign within a reasonable time, this Council, in accordance with Article 73( 9 ) of the Basic Law, hereby gives a mandate to the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal to form and chair an independent investigation committee to investigate the alleged serious breaches of law and/or dereliction of duty and report its findings to this Council."
Meanwhile, Members will debate a motion on comprehensively reviewing the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme. The motion, to be moved by Mr Tang Ka-piu states: "That the Mandatory Provident Fund ( MPF ) Scheme has been implemented for 12 years since December 2000, and its effectiveness has always been of major concern to society; according to the statistics of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority ( MPFA ), at present, there are over three million employee's contribution accounts and around four million preserved accounts in Hong Kong; as at September 2012, the net asset values of approved constituent funds under the MPF Scheme reached HK$412.4 billion; yet, the expensive MPF administration fees, the lack of supervision over fund performance and the erosion of contributions by intermediaries and sponsors, coupled with the use of the accrued benefits derived from employers' contributions to offset severance payments and long service payments, have become the major loopholes in the MPF Scheme which directly affect employees' retirement protection; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to:
( 1 ) abolish the mechanism whereby the accrued benefits derived from employers' contributions under the MPF Scheme are used to offset long service payments and severance payments, and retain Hong Kong employees' rights to severance payments or long service payments under the relevant provisions of the Employment Ordinance, so as to provide employees with better retirement protection;
( 2 ) implement a full portability arrangement for the MPF Scheme to enable employees to choose trustees on their own, establish 'one lifelong account' for employees and credit the MPF accrued benefits derived from employer's and employee's contributions to this account, so as to prevent them from having multiple preserved accounts due to change of jobs, and require trustees to introduce a simple and easy to understand method to inspect accounts similar to that of 'bank books', so as to enable employees to better manage their MPF accrued benefits;
( 3 ) enact legislation to set a ceiling for the Fund Expense Ratio ( FER ) of MPF funds, and require trustees to set out the actual amounts and ratios of various fees and FER in the annual reports issued to employees;
( 4 ) strengthen the regulation of MPF investment products, regularly review the sales practices of intermediaries and establish a mechanism for facilitating people to claim losses;
( 5 ) set up a public trustee that operates under the Government, a public body or a voluntary organization which charges lower administration fees, and provide low-risk capital preservation funds which are guaranteed to be inflation-linked for employees to choose, so as to achieve the objective of increasing competition to make other trustees to lower fees and improve performance;
( 6 ) rationalize and eliminate substandard MPF funds to reduce total fund expenses, and establish a monitoring system under which the total amount of fees charged by MPF funds are linked to performance;
( 7 ) regulate sponsors of MPF Schemes, enhance the monitoring of Scheme sponsors' performance and profits, and establish a clear tripartite relationship among Scheme sponsors, intermediaries and contributors;
( 8 ) step up law enforcement to combat default contributions, including sentencing employers convicted of contravening the law to immediate imprisonment, and blacklisting the law-breaking companies concerned in the tendering exercises for government services as a penalty, etc.;
( 9 ) amend the legislation to reform the Occupational Retirement Schemes ( i.e. provident fund ) system, requiring that when employers implement the provident fund, the vesting scales of the provident fund offered by them to employees are no less than the total amount of employers' contributions under the MPF Scheme, so as to plug the loopholes in the provident fund;
( 10 ) establish an inter-bureau group to implement, within the term of the current Government, the various proposals for improving the MPF Scheme put forward by MPFA on 26 November 2012, and regularly report the progress to the Legislative Council; and
( 11 ) study the implementation of a universal integrated retirement protection system in addition to the MPF Scheme, so as to make up for the inadequacies in the MPF system."
Mr Lee Cheuk-yan, Mr Poon Siu-ping, Dr Kwok Ka-ki and Mr Chan Kin-por will move separate amendments to Mr Tang Ka-piu's motion.
Members will also debate a motion on safeguarding the rule of law and judicial independence. The motion, to be moved by Mr Dennis Kwok, states: "That this Council urges the Government to uphold 'one country, two systems', and safeguard the rule of law, the legal system and judicial independence in Hong Kong."
Ir Dr Lo Wai-kwok, Mr Ip Kwok-him and Mr Gary Fan will move separate amendments to Mr Dennis Kwok's motion.
In addition, Mr Andrew Leung will move a proposed resolution under section 34( 4 ) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to extend the period for amending the Minimum Wage Ordinance ( Amendment of Schedule 3 ) Notice 2012 and the Employment Ordinance ( Amendment of Ninth Schedule ) Notice 2012, laid on the table of the LegCo on December 19, 2012, to the meeting of February 6, 2013.
On Bills, the Stamp Duty ( Amendment ) Bill 2012 and the Inland Revenue and Stamp Duty Legislation ( Alternative Bond Schemes ) ( Amendment ) Bill 2012 will be introduced into the Council for First and Second Readings. Second Reading debates on the Bills will be adjourned.
During the meeting, Members will also ask the Administration 20 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.
The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo website ( www.legco.gov.hk ). Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found in the LegCo website.
Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. They may reserve seats by calling 3919 3399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Members of the public can also watch or listen the meeting via the web broadcast system on the LegCo website.
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