Jobs plan to be applauded, but prudence still the best policy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 December, 2008, 12:00am

The government is planning to create thousands of new jobs in the bureaucracy to help fight the financial tsunami. While I have never been a strong supporter of the chief executive's administration I think Donald Tsang Yam-kuen deserves praise for this initiative.

Some people say the considerable cost of creating these jobs will put a heavy burden on the government's resources. However, this is money well spent if it leads to people being employed in government positions where they can be of use to society. It is better than paying them social security.

Although the job market will remain depressed, these appointments will boost public confidence and encourage people to believe that the government is ready to face up to the challenges posed by the economic crisis. However, while this is a good move, it is important to point out that government involvement alone will not lead to economic recovery. There has to be a financial readjustment in Hong Kong and this could be a long and painful process.

Jamie Wong, To Kwa Wan

Every day I see headlines about the growing economic crisis.

Action has been taken by many countries to try and deal with the recession - stimulus packages, cutting lending rates and re-capitalising the banks. Governments believe that individuals and corporations will be able to spend their way out of this crisis. But is this analysis correct?

Prudent people live within their means. They do not borrow or spend too much. And they do not get involved in property or stock market speculation. When they watch their savings being depleted because major financial institutions are in trouble, they do not react by going on a big shopping spree. They may look for bargains, but will not overspend.

Maybe the Hong Kong government should adopt the same attitude. It should tighten its belt and live within its means. It is not a good idea to use funds now that are earmarked for future expenditure.

Over-consumption and overspending got us into this mess in the first place. How can anyone believe such activities will get us out of it?

April Zhang, Central