The Legislative Council's subcommittee on the formulation of long-term youth policies and development blueprints held a meeting today (24th) to discuss issues such as youth home ownership, financial management, and retirement protection plans.
At the meeting, many councilors were concerned about the debt situation of young people and the habit of using credit cards. Li Wanqiu, general manager of the Investor and Financial Education Committee, revealed that 41% of young people aged 18 to 29 are used to paying the minimum repayment amount (Min Pay) of credit cards.
Election Committee member Tan Yueheng noticed that the biggest difficulty for young people to buy property is the down payment, and called on the government to study preferential policies for young people, such as reducing the down payment for young people, or even exempting the down payment.
According to the survey, 41% of young people aged 18 to 29 are used to paying the minimum credit card payment.
The election committee member Wu Jiezhuang mentioned that many young people can apply for credit cards as soon as they enter university, so he is very concerned about the debt problems of young people and their habits of using credit cards, and asked whether the authorities have cultivated correct consumption habits for young people.
Liang Xi from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong noticed that Hong Kong's school curricula seldom involve cultivating financial management concepts, and asked whether the authorities would consider imitating some states in the United States and implementing compulsory financial management courses in high schools?
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Li Wanqiu said that youth borrowing increased by 46% last year, due to the decrease in income (73%) due to the epidemic, the increase in living expenses (40%), and sudden consumption (35%).
She also pointed out that the vast majority of users who are used to paying the minimum credit card repayment amount are 18 to 39 years old, and 41% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are used to paying the minimum repayment amount.
Liang Hongzheng, deputy director of the Home Affairs and Youth Affairs Bureau, emphasized that the function of the Youth Development Committee will be strengthened in the future, and the Whole Person Development Action Group under it will help young people develop financial management concepts.
Li Wanqiu added that the authorities have been pushing the Education Bureau to include financial management concepts in the main subjects, and the Education Bureau also announced last year that it will add financial education to the civic education subject in 2024/25.
Tan Yueheng said that the biggest problem young people face when buying a home is the down payment.
He believes that the purchasing power of young people is low when they first enter the workforce, but their purchasing power will increase significantly after middle age. He urges the authorities to study a separate policy for youth down payment, consider adjusting the proportion of the down payment, or even exempt the down payment.
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