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Today's news (is very boring)

For the second day in a row, the SCMP thinks that a story about Antony Leung Kam-chung's purchase of a motor car in January is worthy of a place on their front page. Does anyone care? Obviously it was crass and stupid of the Financial Secretary to buy a car just before proposed increases in car tax were to be intoduced, but how can it serve the public interest for him to be prosecuted?

The SCMP claims that the government had received legal opinion that there are grounds to prosecute Leung, whilst the government denies this.

I am sure the ICAC is a good thing, but sometimes they do seem to get a bit carried away.


The SCMP also has the results of a poll about whether people would welcome a Goods and Services Tax. The shock answer is that no, they wouldn't approve of higher taxes. Hong Kong has a fairly low rate of Income Tax, and people on low incomes don't pay very much tax. If GST were introduced it would apply to everyone, whereas higher income tax (which is what people apparently prefer) would affect only part of the population.

According to the survey, if given a choice, 45 per cent of respondents would choose an increase in income tax, while 34 per cent said they would opt for a GST. Twenty-one per cent were undecided.


Regarding the levying of a GST paired with a cut in direct taxes, 46.2 per cent of respondents said they were either in favour or "very much" in favour of it, compared with 38.8 per cent who said they were opposed.

So what conclusion can we draw from that? Basically that if you go out into the street and ask 1,000 people for their opinions on fiscal policy you won't learn very much.


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