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Rigid Economic Projections, Treated HK People as a Machine

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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By Poon Wing Yi, 4th March, 2014.


The economic projections that were made by the Working Group on Long-Term Fiscal Planning are rigid, Chiu Sin-chun, a business program co-host at Now TV, said yesterday at an university talk.


The 2014-2015 Budget Plan launched last week. A Report of the Working Group on Long-Term Fiscal Planning was one of main parts of the latest Budget Plan. For the long-term projections, the Budget Plan stated that the rate of Hong Kong's economic growth would slow down and the nominal GDP would only have an average rate of 4.4% growth while the real GDP would grow at around 2.8% per annum only. Based on the above projections, the Working Group on Long-Term Fiscal Planning predicted that the government expenditure would grow by around 5.3% per annum and a structural deficit would surface in 15 years if there was no enhancement on social welfare, education and healthcare; the government expenditure would grow by around 6% per annum and a structural deficit would surface in 8 to 10 years if the recurrent expenditure on the above three areas would increase 1 to 2% per annum; and the government expenditure would grow by around 7.5% per annum and a structural deficit would surface in 7 years if the recurrent expenditure on the above three areas would increase 3% per annum.


"Those economic projections made by the Working Group was really rigid, they treated all Hong Kong citizens as a machine rather than a human being," said Chiu. He had a positive attitude toward the problem of structural deficit. He said that there were many different calculation methods to predict the long-term projections, while the committees of the Working Group on Long-Term Fiscal Planning used a rigid way to do their calculation. He explained that the committees assumed the expenditures and incomes of Hong Kong citizens would not have any changes in the future and they ignored most of the variable factors, such as the incomes of some Hong Kong people might change. Chiu emphasized that he didn’t think that it was a pragmatic calculation method.


In order to tactic the structural deficit, the Working Group had suggested that the government could consider to broaden the tax bases or even increase the types of tax. Chiu said that a simple tax system and low rate tax were the attractive characteristics of Hong Kong; if the Hong Kong government increased the types of tax, the above characteristics would be destroyed. So, he didn’t think that the Financial Secretary would take the risk and make this decision. --115045 2014年3月4日 (二) 17:22 (UTC)

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