Public Finance

Moulin seeks restitution for 'overpaid taxes'

Moulin Global Eyecare Trading, which is in liquidation, has filed a claim for restitution over profits taxes which it said it overpaid because former senior management fraudulently overstated its earnings.

Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 12:00am

Education Bureau can't afford another mistake

Education is the Hong Kong government's biggest spending item, accounting next financial year for HK$54 billion in expenditure, almost a quarter of the total budget. With such a complicated system and so many schools involved, the calculations to determine funding and subsidies are complex. But that is no excuse for mistakes such as that admitted to by the Education Bureau last week.

26 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

China's government debt ratio is even higher than Portugal's

If I asked you to name a country facing a public debt crisis, you would be spoilt for choice.

Among developed countries, you might think of Portugal, which just a couple of weeks ago was forced to go cap in hand to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for a humiliating bailout.

22 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

US outlook change hits HK, China stocks

Stock markets on the mainland and in Hong Kong fell yesterday after rating agency Standard & Poor's cut its outlook on the United States to negative because of signs of political gridlock over plans to deal with the budget deficit and government debt.

20 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Great fiscal expectations

The government's budget may have finally been passed by the Legislative Council after more than seven weeks of political turmoil, but it is clear the challenge facing the financial secretary and his successors has changed.

19 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

More buildings eligible for maintenance aid

Buildings without owners' corporations will be covered from today by grants and loans available for owners who want to maintain their property.

A one-stop service being launched by the Urban Renewal Authority and the Housing Society integrates seven assistance schemes aimed at buildings aged more than 20 years old that are offered by the two organisations and the government.

1 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Discriminate between the facts and spurious claims

This year's budget has had its fair share of controversy. First, the proposal to inject HK$6,000 into all MPF accounts was shot down. Then came the idea of a HK$6,000 cash handout and tax rebate to all permanent adult residents. Now, there is an additional proposal to give HK$6,000 to mainland immigrants who have been here less than seven years.

30 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Collusive land policy a harmful way to finance our economy

Henry Cheng Kar-shun, the managing director of New World Development, is extremely well placed to comment that property prices are high and still rising, and that there is a growing anti-business sentiment due to the wealth gap.

18 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Officials should stop saying that subsidy will help low-income families

In his budget speech last month, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah promised to subsidise electricity bills again.

13 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

The hows and whys of budget decision-making

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah's U-turn on the budget was certainly a surprise, to put it mildly. It was a bigger reversal than most political parties had asked for.

As in previous years, the 2011-12 budget process began with a public consultation. Tsang met community groups, businessmen, students and others, asking them what they would like to see done.

11 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Advances on transparency, but a way to go yet

The astronomical numbers in Premier Wen Jiabao's report to the National People's Congress should not be allowed to obscure some of the real advances it contains.

They include the promise that all official budgets will be released publicly, so that people can know 'how much the government spends and what it spends money on'.

8 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Price stability to be given higher priority

Finance Minister Xie Xuren says the government will maintain a proactive fiscal policy this year while making price stability a 'more prominent' priority.

8 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Tsang's budget flip-flop turns economic wisdom on its head

John Tsang surely deserves a Nobel prize. Our visionary financial secretary has turned accepted economic theory on its head to come up with a whole new way of fighting inflation.

Last week, Tsang declared in his budget speech that 'fighting inflation is our major task this year'.

Well done John - problem correctly identified.

4 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Legco approves transport subsidy

The government's controversial HK$4.8 billion transport subsidy scheme was passed yesterday, giving low-paid workers a monthly allowance of up to HK$600, despite firm opposition from within and outside the Legislative Council.

26 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Lawmakers to debate transport subsidy plan

Lawmakers will discuss the embattled Work Incentive Transport Subsidy scheme at today's Finance Committee meeting. The controversial scheme would offer a HK$600 monthly subsidy for 380,000 low-paid workers, but lawmakers said the income limits, HK$10,000 per month for a couple or HK$13,000 for a three-person household, were too high.

25 Feb 2011 - 12:00am