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Worries Over “Structural Deficit”

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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[By Henry Chau 16:35 04/03/2014]

A pundit said he was not content with the budget as finance chief prepares for an aging society.

Financial analyst Chiu Sin-chun said the government's budget is not heading to the right direction. Financial chief John Tsang Chun-wah cuts one-off relief measures by 40 per cent last week, preparing for the worst-case scenario, a structural deficit in seven years.

“They know the problem, but they do not have the right solution,” added Chiu, “it is as if Tsang only made small changes from last year’s plan.”

The budget panel had set out three scenarios showing that a structural deficit would emerge in seven to 15 years, depending on how much we are spending on health, welfare and education in the near future.

Despite the warnings, the budget offered no big ideas on revenue.

The economist proposed that the government should find ways to increase Hong Kong’s competitiveness, instead of cutting before there is a deficit.

“The government is acting as we are already in deficit, they neglected the fact that we may increase income, through tax or by imposing business friendly policies,” said Chiu.

Chiu then agreed that it is difficult to introduce new tax, as Hong Kong is getting less competitive with the emergence of new trade zone at Shanghai and Shenzhen.

“Comparing to emerging financial hubs in the region, Hong Kong is losing its appeal to investors, new tax would not help the situation.”
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