Public Finance

Missed opportunity to plan for the future

For those looking for vision from the financial secretary's budget speech yesterday, the rhetoric surpassed the substance.

Thursday, 24 February, 2011, 12:00am

Politics and economics to collide in today's budget

Politics will collide head-on with economics today when Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah gets up to deliver his 2011 budget speech.

Tsang's problem is that he is under intense political pressure to come up with a generous package of budget giveaways, while economic common sense dictates that the government should be tightening its fiscal stance.

23 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Dollar reserve system better for East Asian exporters than US

Should the world give up the dollar?

It is ironic that it is considered pro-American to want the dollar to maintain its role as the world's dominant reserve currency and anti-American to call for a change.

21 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

You're confused, Norman, trillion-dollar hoard is for the city, not its banks

Even though we cannot be too precise in quantifying in advance the amount of resources we need, we can certainly shore up our defence capability and resilience in good times.

Norman Chan Tak-lam Chief executive, Hong Kong Monetary Authority Firm foundations, SCMP, Feb 18

20 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Incentive scheme is a straight wage subsidy by any other name

Transport subsidy may be left in limbo

SCMP headline, February 15 It is not a transport subsidy. The Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme will be a straight HK$600 a month giveaway to any working person who qualifies as being sufficiently poor.

17 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

We will scuttle transport-subsidy plan, unionist says

Thirty-five legislators have vowed to try to scuttle the government's plan to expand Hong Kong's transport-subsidy scheme, by voting for an adjournment motion at tomorrow's Finance Committee meeting, union-lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said.

The opposing lawmakers want the HK$4.4 billion scheme to be more generous to low-income workers.

17 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Transport subsidy funding attempt takes a new twist

The embattled funding bid for the HK$4.3 billion transport subsidy scheme took a new twist last night, with some lawmakers saying the labour chief was considering three more concessions following intense behind-the-scenes lobbying.

'We are cautiously optimistic that the funding can be passed [tomorrow],' one government official said.

17 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Move to delay vote on travel allowance

A scheme to give 380,000 low-paid workers a HK$600 monthly travel allowance may be delayed because some legislators say the proposed relief is not generous enough.

12 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Tax hits property sales in Shanghai and Chongqing

The number of homes sold fell dramatically in Shanghai and possibly in Chongqing, the day new property taxes were imposed in those cities.

But analysts are unsure whether the measures will cool the mainland's overheated market.

1 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Protesters want subsidies extended

About 20 protesters from the Confederation of Trade Unions and Neighbourhood and Workers' Services Centre marched to Government House to rally against the extension of a travel subsidy scheme. They said the government should raise the maximum monthly wage limit of HK$6,500 and lower the minimum working hours of 72 hours a month.

31 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Miserly efforts won't combat pollution

The government has spent most of the HK$29 billion estimated to have been used on combating air pollution since 1999. Given the gravity of the problem and the damage to the health of the people, that is far from being a huge figure, representing at most 1.2 per cent of total government spending over those 11 years.

30 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Stewing in its own decline

It's official - on gross national product figures for 2010, Japan has slumped to No3. The US is No1, but sickly; China is No2 and aggressively rising; Japan is an also-ran, heading to the second division anyway you measure its prowess - by sheer economic numbers, industrial might, political weight, diplomatic influence or military muscle.

29 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Shanghai to tax new homes to cool market

Shanghai will impose a property tax on newly bought homes rather than all apartments, taking a go-slow approach to cool the red-hot real estate sector, according to consultancy Colliers International.

20 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

It is time for the government to bring in general services tax

One of the reasons for high property prices in Hong Kong is the high cost of land.

Another reason is that most development sites are large. This means that small property players are kept out of the game.

I believe the government should abandon its high land price policy. It should auction off land in smaller parcels so as to increase competition.

17 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Court battle reopening over Nina Wang's will

The battle over the HK$100 billion estate of Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum reopens today, with fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen striving to overturn a court decision that found he had forged a will.

10 Jan 2011 - 12:00am