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  • September 23, 2014
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  1. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    With fewer grand projects, Hong Kong can afford its health care bills

    Posted Sep 02nd 2013, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... all thought dead and buried back in 2006. Yet whether Hong Kong's public finances are really facing the sort of old-age health care spending armageddon that the government keeps warning ... of the city's overall health care bill. Private insurance and out-of-pocket spending cover the rest. That means Hong Kong's public spending on health care is low by developed-economy standards. ...

  2. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Tsang's vision of Hong Kong's future is severely out of focus

    Posted Feb 27th 2014, 01:23am by Tom Holland

    ... Tom Holland Instead of building mega-projects that serve no purpose, the government should spend money where it is needed: education, health and welfare Tsang's vision of Hong ... education, welfare and health services, the financial secretary warned we will be plunged into "a structural deficit" in just seven years. Even if the government were to freeze real per ...

  3. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Spending on old folks isn't the problem- it's the solution

    Posted Jan 14th 2014, 01:37am by Tom Holland

    ... on infrastructure from recurrent revenues, it could afford to raise public health spending to 4 per cent of GDP, which is still only half as much as Canada spends. The Health and Welfare Fund could ... Tom Holland Our finance chief may fret, but let's use HK's massive surplus to set up a Health and Welfare Fund, and then we can retire off talk of tax rises Spending on old folks ...

  4. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    We don't need a Future Fund. The future is already upon us

    Posted Mar 05th 2014, 01:34am by Tom Holland

    ... It is not future generations that are under pressure. It is the generation of Hongkongers now approaching old age with inadequate or non-existent pensions and no health insurance that needs public help. ... the government's advisers assume public spending on capital works will rise from 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product currently to 7.2 per cent by 2041. In dollar terms, that means they expect ...

  5. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    It's not heresy to expect grand projects to pay for themselves

    Posted Feb 28th 2014, 01:01am by Tom Holland

    ... sits atop an enormous pile of surplus reserves roughly HK$1.6 trillion high. Let's assume public spending on health and welfare doubles in real terms over the next 30 years along with Hong ... that on our current trajectory, rising health and welfare spending as the population ages will plunge the city into "a structural deficit" in seven to 15 years' time. The answer, Tsang ...

  6. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Fiscal report based on lunatic projection of capital spending

    Posted Mar 04th 2014, 05:09am by Tom Holland

    ... at today's prices, public spending on healthcare and welfare for the elderly will more than double, from HK$69 billion this year to HK$143 billion in 2041. Meanwhile, as Hong Kong's workforce ... of rising health and welfare spending with declining revenue growth will push the government's finances into a structural deficit within the next 15 years. Under the committee's base case, ...

  7. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Let's stamp out this talk about Hong Kong's narrow tax base

    Posted Mar 14th 2013, 12:00am by Tom Holland

    ... the majority of the population only take from the government- especially those who live in publicly subsidised housing- and give nothing back. Unless they can be made to contribute too, by paying tax, ... and profits taxes mean Hong Kong's public finances are overly exposed to swings in the city's notoriously volatile economy. As the economy turns down, income falls just when the government ...

  8. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    After nine years, it's time to leave the stage

    Posted Mar 06th 2014, 12:25am by Tom Holland

    ... Kong's public finances. The city's fiscal position was unsustainable, they warned, arguing the only way to balance the books would be to impose a goods and services tax. Public opinion ... public finances are stronger than ever. Yet officials continue to warn about the emergence of a structural deficit and to call for new taxes to raise even more revenue. Nine years ago Hongkongers ...

  9. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Even Hong Kong's best efforts may not help to clear our air

    Posted Feb 12th 2014, 12:46am by Tom Holland

    ... in the city's air quality over the next five years. Yesterday, she pledged to get the very worst-polluting buses and trucks- those that do the most harm to our health- off Hong Kong's streets ...

  10. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    British model of governance is nothing for Hong Kong to boast about

    Posted Dec 05th 2013, 06:00am by Tom Holland

    ... million of public cash to recover just £23 million. Even worse was the government's long-running attempt to force absent fathers to pay for the support of their children. Eventually ... to manage patient records for the National Health Service. Quite how much this folly actually cost by the time the project was cancelled almost 10 years later no one seems to know, but a figure ...




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