Do we have a housing policy? It is an obvious question to ask when the chief executive scraps his 85,000 unit a year housing target but forgets to tell anyone for two years and then out of the blue targets inflation as his benchmark for home prices. It suggests that there is more vacuum than policy. That is unless you count statements which are made one month, corrected the next, amended the third and scrapped on the fourth as policy - rather than evidence that there is little consistency in all that thinking in officialdom about housing needs. It should not be surprising, then, to find appointees to the Housing Authority (HA) making up their own housing policy and passing it off as the word from above. They have been doing it recently, most notably HA member Daniel Lam Chun who does not like private-sector criticisms of the lavish standards of the new Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats. Here is what he says: 'Those living in our HOS and public rental flats are the major sector of our economy. We have a responsibility to provide them with accommodation of good quality. I do not see why our HOS and public flat residents cannot enjoy sea views and good quality flats. We should give them the best we can provide.' Now think about that. First of all it makes no sense to say that occupants of public housing are a sector of the economy. Housing construction is a sector of the economy but not the people who occupy that housing. Most of them are busy in other sectors of the economy. Erroneously making them out as a sector of their own, however, could give you the impression that their interests in housing are quite different from the interests of other people. They are not. We all want the best homes we can get, built to the highest possible standards in the most convenient location with all possible amenities and at the lowest price achievable. Public housing occupants are distinct only in that they go further to achieving the last of those objectives than anyone else. So let us get it straight right away that Mr Lam is making a special interest plea for one group of people when there is really no reason to think that this group has a legitimate special interest. We all have that interest in equal measure. Thus it is entirely proper for the Housing Authority to do the best it can for the people who occupy its flats but that is where its responsibilities end. If Mr Lam presumes to speak for all of us when he says 'we should give them the best we can provide' then he is speaking out of turn. We would all prefer sea views but unfortunately there is not enough shoreline to go round. We therefore ration these sorts of amenities by saying that, if people value them, they ought to pay up for them and the money used to provide public services from which other people can benefit too. If Mr Lam thinks this unfair, however, we can always adopt that other principle of social justice to which he appears headed - from each according to his ability to each according to his need. It is pure Karl Marx and look where it got the Soviet Union. Yes, life is tough sometimes, but when we ignore the role of price as the fulcrum of supply and demand we are in trouble. We are certainly ignoring it when heavily subsidised public housing comes with amenities people cannot get when they pay much more in the private sector. The developers are absolutely right about this. These new HOS releases are seriously distorting the market and are evidence of a housing policy gone awry - if any exists at all. And if a director of the world's biggest residential landlord still needs to attend Economics 101 to see how this can only make our housing shortage worse, then he should not presume to speak in public about housing policy.