Does the yuan matter?

There's too much fuss about the yuan, when other economic reforms are more urgent.

The mainland's currency policy is not worth the attention it is getting. It is not at all important compared with other market distortions in the Chinese economy, and it is not even very important in how China affects the world economy.

Tuesday, 25 March, 2014, 2:13am 6 comments

Scheme to help Fa Yuen Street fire victims 'just not enough'

(From left) Fan Pui-ying, Chan Kong-chiu, Andy So (fourth from left) and others at a press conference yesterday. Photo: Dickson Lee

The United Hawkers Development Platform and Chan Kong-chiu, a Fa Yuen Street hawker of 36 years, said the government's scheme to subsidise improvements to the stalls of the city's 4,300 hawkers in the 43 fixed-pitch hawker areas was not thorough enough.

25 Mar 2013 - 5:30am 1 comment

Increasing childcare subsidies could help future generations excel

Increasing childcare subsidies could help future generations excel

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah warned in his budget speech about the challenges Hong Kong faces because of a shrinking labour force and an ageing population. Officials say this pattern will produce an unsustainable economic burden on those of working age. If so, this is a threat to our social development.

13 Mar 2013 - 3:00am 2 comments

Psoriasis patients seek subsidies for medication

When Gary Lai first came down with the skin disease psoriasis, he got so tired of the stigma he faced in the outside world that he would lock himself away in his apartment whenever he didn’t have to be at work.

26 Nov 2012 - 1:45pm

End subvention debate so ESF can move on

The ESF subvention has become the lightning rod for the confused and contradictory feelings in this city about its colonial past.

It's that time of year again. The English Schools Foundation subvention is on the Education Bureau's agenda and there is a media feeding frenzy. We welcome the debate because our 13,000 students are important to Hong Kong's future.

28 Apr 2015 - 5:45pm 12 comments

Why ESF subsidy being phased out

If there is any subvention to the ESF, it would all be based on the new and unique role of the ESF, if any.

I refer to the report ("ESF must provide local curriculum, Eddie Ng says", November 1) and your editorial ("Subsidise and reform the ESF", November 10).

28 Apr 2015 - 5:45pm

Fruit money for all worth the price

Photo: EPA

Our social welfare system, especially for the elderly poor, is bureaucratic, mean and insufficient for a decent living. That is why activists and many political parties across the ideological spectrum are calling for what amounts to a doubling of so-called fruit money for those over the age of 70 by scrapping a proposed means test for the new subsidy. To cut a long story short, they are right.

10 Oct 2012 - 3:14am 4 comments

Cash-for-flats model is superior to Home Ownership Scheme

Newly built apartment blocks in Beijing. The central government is planning to stop building subsidised housing after 2015. Photo: Reuters

The mainland currently provides subsidised rental housing as well as more upmarket housing for sale at subsidised prices - equivalent to the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) in Hong Kong.

For almost a decade, Hong Kong provided subsidised public housing for rent only, but it recently revived the HOS in response to vocal demand for assisted home ownership.

19 Sep 2012 - 2:45am 1 comment

China takes subsidies complaint to WTO

The US is accusing China of US$1 billion in illegal subsidies between 2009-11 that benefited Chinese exporters of car parts. Photo: Reuters

China filed a World Trade Organisation case yesterday challenging US anti-dumping measures on billions of dollars of kitchen appliances, paper and other goods, adding to trade strains.

Beijing's move came shortly before US President Barack Obama's administration filed its own WTO case accusing China of improperly subsidising exports of cars and car parts.

18 Sep 2012 - 3:37am

63 more schools plan to raise fees

Erik Dierks

More parents at international and direct subsidy schools face single-digit percentage rises in tuition fees this year if the Education Bureau approves their applications for higher charges.

15 Sep 2012 - 3:47am 1 comment

Welfare recipient bids for judicial review over 'inadequate' rent subsidy

Outdated government policy on rent subsidies is forcing the poor to live in inhumane conditions, according to one welfare recipient who is preparing to take the government to court to change the system.

Joel Suen Mo is calling for a judicial review of policy on rent subsidies for recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance scheme (CSSA).

8 Sep 2012 - 2:44am

More poor people to get transport subsidies with policy change

At least 100,000 more low-income workers are poised to receive subsidies for their transport costs following a change of mind by the government, a welfare group says.

Labour and Welfare Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung now says he will accept applications to the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme based on the income and assets of individuals and households.

1 Sep 2012 - 3:57am

Pupils 'need more help to join after-school activities'

Children from a disadvantaged background still have only limited access to extra-curricular activities, despite the government's vow to usher in an equal learning environment, says an education concern group.

9 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Green subsidies push up appliance and auto shares

The share prices of leading appliance and automotive companies rose yesterday on news of mainland government subsidies for energy-efficient cars and home appliances.

However, analysts warned that the outlook was not rosy for the mainland appliance market.

18 May 2012 - 12:00am

Subsidies unveiled for energy-saving home appliances

In a move designed to boost domestic consumption and cut carbon emissions, the central government has earmarked 26.5 billion yuan (HK$32.5 billion) in subsidies for energy-saving home appliances.

17 May 2012 - 12:00am