YOUR leader on March 2, described the Financial Secretary's Budget speech as containing 'too much rhetoric'.
There is, however, little rhetoric in his attack on the accounting practices of small businesses, he is 'alarmed' and no doubt serious.
Small businesses, such as car repair workshops, shopkeepers, artisans, hairdressers, metal and electrical workshops, interior decorators and taxi drivers have a hard enough time to make a living.
The proprietors typically live in public housing, left school at 15 to work and pursue vocational training; they operate their business with few if any employees and they are unlikely, for example, to give a receipt for an $8 light fitting.
Small businesses provide the backbone of Hong Kong's economy and to require them to keep accounting records of the same standard as limited companies would put a burden on people whose educational background cannot bear it.
Furthermore they generally make insufficient profit to employ accountants.
The Financial Secretary and our government bureaucracy need to reconsider their attitude to small businesses.
MICHAEL R. EYLES Central