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  • August 22, 2014
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  1. 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 ...

  2. 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 ... which assumes no improvements in services, the government will have burned through its accumulated reserves by 2040, and will be reliant on borrowing to fill the HK$271 billion hole in its ...

  3. 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

    ... 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 capita spending at present levels, then demographic trends would still push public finances into a long-term deficit within 15 years. These ominous projections were produced by Tsang's pet ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

    ... 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 ... a shame because a few of their fiscal recommendations are solid, sensible and worthwhile. For example, their insistence that the government should not allow public spending to exceed 20 per cent ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. Business - China Business - MONITOR

    It's tough, but China must let trust company products fail

    Posted Jan 27th 2014, 04:23am by Tom Holland

    ... If the authorities do now let the 3 billion Credit Equals Gold No1 product fail, there is the danger of a knock-on chain reaction, with plunging public confidence triggering a series of similar defaults. ... the products cannot service their debts. It's tough on the investors, of course, especially as it's likely many buyers were misled about the real level of risks involved in trust products ...

  8. Business - Economy - MONITOR

    Immigration and reclamation won't raise living standards

    Posted Feb 18th 2014, 04:34am by Tom Holland

    ... of non-traded goods and services, like housing. As Monitor has pointed out before, if you look at real GDP per capita in local currency terms, you find that Hong Kong has averaged a 3.9 per cent growth ...

  9. Business - Economy - MONITOR

    To continue growing, China will have to work a lot smarter

    Posted Feb 07th 2014, 05:17am by Tom Holland

    ... on credit-fuelled investment by local governments and state industries and a good deal more reliant on private service sector businesses. Where they diverge is on how smoothly reform will proceed, ...

  10. Business - Comment - MONITOR

    Even an export rebound won't do much to lift China growth

    Posted Feb 13th 2014, 01:07am by Tom Holland

    ... as significant as many of the responses implied. What really threw the analytical community was the publication of customs figures showing mainland exports were up 10.6 per cent last month compared ...




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