Budget 2016: Spending the surplus #1- Chan Yuen-han (陳婉嫻)

What’s an FS to do with $100 billion spare cash? LegCo members weigh in on priorities for  the surplus, whatever it is. Today: Chan Yuen-han.


 

Chan Yuen-han (陳婉嫻) – Federation of Trade Unions; FC – District Council (Second)

Many economists many argue against more one-off relief measures the city’s lower class. But the fact is I was told by a senior citizen that it is really hard to make a living now as prices go up. So I’d really hope to see the Government continue to grant one extra month of Old Age Allowance and public housing rent waiver to the eligible ones.

Taxation-wise, I think the Government should raise the threshold of the first income tax band for the lower-middle class and introduce a progressive property tax to address the sky-high property prices.

There are two long term issues that I would like to see in the Budget, first is a more generous package of the retirement protection scheme. I think the Government should really reconsider the proposal by Prof Chow Wing-sun, as many of us, unlike civil servants, receive no pensions. The second issue is the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Core Fund initiative. If the Government truly wants to tackle the high fees, then it should hold the Core Fund in its own hands instead of letting to 19 providers to continue to set the rules of the game.

Alex Fok

Alex Fok

Alex Fok is a Harbour Times journalist monitoring Hong Kong’s daily political scene and diplomatic updates. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Economics, Politics and International Studies from University of Warwick and his master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a former committee member of the Warwick-based Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society (WHKPASS) and was the chief editor of the society’s magazine – PASSTIMES.
Alex Fok