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Newly Introduced Silver Bond may Neglect Poorer Elderly Population

The Silver Bond may only benefit senior citizens with extra money in hand, neglecting the poorer elderly population in Hong Kong.

The Silver Bond, similar to the previous inflation-linked iBond that was designated for the elderly, will be launched this year and the year after, announced the Financial Secretary Mr. Tsang Chun-wah in the Budget speech today.

"The bond is attractive if I had some extra money in hand," said Mr. Chu, 75 years old. "But I only had enough to cover living expenses, how could I spend thousands to invest?"

"I don't have any money to buy the bond," said Ms. Chan, 84. "Even if I do, I'd spend it on bread."

Aiming to protect against inflation, A HK$10 billion iBond was issued every year since 2011 with a guaranteed return of two per cent for investors aged 65 and over.

"The Silver Bond is just the performance of the government," said Mr. Chu. "It cannot protect against inflation."

Interested in the Silver Bond, Mr. Lau said retirement pensions and medical service would be more important to the senior citizens.

"I hope the government could cover all the elderly population with the retirement benefits, not just part of us at the moment," he said.

"The old people are much easier to get sick and the medical care is costly," he added. "So the government should provide us with more support."

In mid-2014, Hong Kong had 1.07 million people aged over 65 and over, accounting for about 15 per cent of the total population.

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