Chauffeur misses out on wheel of fortune
By JACQUELINE CROSSLEY
WHILE the tangerine Budget spells optimism for Hong Kong, it amounts to very little for the Financial Secretary himself, or for the man at the opposite end of the pay scale, his personal chauffeur.
Peter Au-yeung Shing, 43, has worked for Sir Hamish for more than two years.
His salary of $11,610 a month is below the level to be affected by the raised income tax levels. He didn't pay tax before and he won't now.
And Sir Hamish, earning more than 12 times that amount, at $147,800 per month, will continue to pay the standard 15 per cent.
Both men are married with two children.
Neither of them smoke, and while Sir Hamish admits to the occasional drink at social occasions, Mr Au-yeung is teetotal.
So while the radical changes to the tax structure on alcohol may be leaving many in Hong Kong drowning their sorrows tonight, these men remain untouched.
Mr Au-yeung, cramped into a 300 square foot flat in Sha Tin, would be keen to benefit from the reduction on stamp duty to buy his own apartment.
But he admits that, in his current position, it seems a rather unrealistic ambition.
Sir Hamish, on the other hand, is obviously ideally placed to take advantage of the change to help people buy their own homes, but he has so far shown little inclination to settle down in Hong Kong indefinitely.
But if this year's Budget has failed to touch these two men, how does the distinctive black Jaguar fare? The car, bearing the unique ''FS'' number plates, gets nothing for being environmentally friendly and running on unleaded petrol.
It will in fact cost the Government more to run thanks to the 8.5 per cent increase in fuel tax.