Fat of the land

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 April, 2012, 12:00am


For the new chief executive, here's a modest proposal for dealing with the apparently problematic HK$1.43 trillion that the government has lying around: give it to the rich.

The government needs to find ways to incentivise wealth creators. How about generous tax breaks for multimillionaires who want to creatively expand their properties, opening up jobs in the process, with particular provision given to those who thoughtfully don't block other people's views by doing the extra construction underground?

Or perhaps a subsidy to encourage the companies of very rich people to pitch for major public architectural projects? Or selling government land to wealthy property developers at knock-down prices? No, that wouldn't happen.

It appears that using the surplus of HK$201,000 per person to help the very rich is the only sensible solution, because, obviously, it's impossible to use it to help the very poor: the hundreds of thousands of people who live in cage homes and subdivided flats in the middle of one of the world's richest cities.

When it comes to dealing with these homes, our public officials have taken the most obvious course of action: close them and throw the residents onto the streets. Such tactics will surely encourage these people to find a proper flat.

Likewise, well done to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, which recently raided a squatter area and threw away all the homeless people's belongings, including clothes, bankbooks and hidden money. That will get them on their feet, looking for work and a home, which presumably they hadn't done before because they are lazy.

Our leaders are highly intelligent and capable people. If using a massive public budget surplus to help people living in a rich city in conditions that would disgrace a third-world slum were possible, they'd have done it, right?