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Introduce GST to increase government revenue

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Chan Pak Yee

Joseph Yau, the President of the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong said

today in Shue Yan University that the best policy to widen the tax base is to introduce

Goods and Services Tax (GST).


According to the data released by the Working Group on Long-Term Fiscal Planning,

the government expenses will be larger than government revenue, expecting a financial

deficit in 2019.


Yau said, ‘consumers should be responsible for their consumption, and it is a fair tax

system which can be easily assessed by the government.’ Years before, some people proposed

to introduce 3% value-added tax on most goods and services, however 2% of it has to be used

as a transaction fee, the effectiveness of the policy is then declined. Yau claimed that 3%

GST is not enough to make any difference. He used an example saying that 5% GST was charged

in Japan, and it is 16.7% of their total government revenue, which shows the effectiveness

of GST in gaining government revenue.



Critics have argued that number of transaction will be declined under the GST as

the tax will be refunded to the final consumers which cause them a higher price in goods

and services. Yau replied, ‘ the government should calculate the expected gain in GST and

the expected loss in GDP, in a bid to make a good decision.’ He said, once the tax came

into effect, the consumer consumption and economic growth may be decline. However, he thinks

such a decline will just appeared in the first fiscal quarter, the consumption will soon returned

to a normal level later.


He also said the government should start working on this issue as there are elections of legislative

council in 2015 and Chief Executives in 2016. After 2014, most of the political parties will not

be able to work on this issue, or else GST would be used as a political weapon between different

parties.


--115041 2014年3月11日 (二) 17:44 (UTC)

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