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    二月 2011

    週一 28 二月 2011

    28 Feb 2011 列印 Email

    Category

    Constitutional Development

    Issue

    • Local legislation of constitutional development

    News Content

    • Legislative Council is set to vote on the Chief Executive election (amendment) and Legislative Council (Amendment) bill coming Wednesday. The pan-democrats are now fighting for at least 16 amendments of which include abolishing corporate votes in functional constituency, allowing chief executive to have political affiliation and threshold for the five new district council functional constituency legislators from 15 to 10 etc.
    • SCMP reports today it is less likely the amendment will come to a success. First, Legco president Tsang Yok-sing has yet to approve the introduction of any of the 16 amendments. Second, none of the amendments is expected to secure enough votes to pass.
    • The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said their nine votes are against all amendments and so are the four from pro-business group Economic Synergy.

    Questions

    • 2012 Legislative Council Election: A high threshold for the five new district council functional constituency legislators. Elected district councilor has to get at least 15 nominations from their peers. It is hard for the small political parties to get even nomination.
    • The corporate votes in functional constituencies should be abolished so as to broaden electoral base.
    • 2012 Chief Executive Election: The government proposes to continue to adopt the bloc vote system for the District Council Subsectors election under the election committee. The bloc vote system is definitely not favorable for the small parties.


    週五 25 二月 2011

    25 Feb 2011 列印 Email

    Category

    Public Finance

    Issue

    • The 2011 – 2012 Budget

    News Content

    • Hong Kong University POP instant survey showed Financial Secretary John Tsang chun-wah’s popularity plunged by 15% after he delivered the budget on Wednesday. It is the biggest fall seen after any of his budget.
    • The survey also showed that the latest rating of FS John Tsang after his Budget Talk was 52.4 marks, with approval and disapproval rates of 36% and 22% respectively.
    • The poll interviewed 1,031 Hong Kong people on 23 February showed 27% were satisfied with the Budget, 35% were dissatisfied and 34% said “half-half”.
    • The average rating registered for the Budget was 51.5 marks, the lowest in four years.
    • HKCTU legislator Lee Cheuk-yan said he would discuss forming an alliance with pan-democratic lawmakers to gain support to veto the budget though chance is slim.
    • The Democratic Party and Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union have called upon teachers and civil servants to protest against the budget on March 6 2011.

    Questions

    • The budget falls short of public expectation. The FS is facing legitimacy crisis. That is whether the budget will be vetoed by the Legco.
    • Although the government’s reserves stand at nearly HK$600 billion, the government has failed to provide any long-term measure or visionary policy to solve social problems.
    • Making a one-off injection of $6,000 into MPF accounts fails to provide immediate help to disadvantaged groups.


    週二 22 二月 2011

    22 Feb 2011 列印 Email

    Category

       Economic Policy

    Issue

    • Competition Law

    News Content

    • A group of law experts from Hong Kong and six countries familiar with other competition jurisdictions will sign a letter supporting the draft competition law.
    • Seen by the SCMP, the eight-page letter refutes 12 common criticisms raised during the Legco committee scrutiny of the bill.
    • According to the Post, the letter addresses the penalty (a maximum of 10% of a company’s global turnover), what opponents say a lack of clarity in the bill, and the appropriateness of using the EU model.

    Questions

    • Although it is widely expected the bill will be passed by the Legco before July 2012, business sector has been putting up pressure on government, fueling worries that it the lawmakers may not be able to pass the bill before July 2012.
    • If it is the case, the legislative process will have to be restarted from scratch in the new four-year term, which means the long-awaited competition law will then be further delayed.


    週一 21 二月 2011

    21 Feb 2011 列印 Email
    • Category

         Public Finance

      Issue

      • Budget 2011 -2012

      News Content

      • Financial Secretary John Tsang will make his budget speech on Wednesday. Equal Opportunities Commission Chief Lam Woon-kwong said at the Democrats Seminar on welfare for the disabled yesterday that the government’s handout are ‘poisons, not sweets’ for the poor.
      • He criticized the government for its lack of policy and long-term vision, especially when it came to helping the disadvantaged. He said: ‘When the government is enjoying substantial financial surpluses for a few consecutive years, it is being irresponsible for spending money only on short-term measures.’ Lam said: ‘The authority should offer better planning when there is a surplus, such as establishing long-term funds.’
      • It echoed with what legislator Peter Cheung’s comments. He takes the ageing problem as an example. ‘Government has identified the problem of an ageing population several years ago, but has done little to develop a comprehensive retirement protection scheme.’
      • It is widely expected that John Tsang would offer more one-off giveaways in his budget speech on Wed

      Questions

      • Take the work incentive traffic subsidy as an example. The eligibility criteria are strict. The applicant would be mean-tested on a household basis. It clearly contravenes to its aims which serves to encourage people to get a job.
      • The government fails to develop a comprehensive policy to solve the rich-poor gap. The measures taken are in lack of a holistic and long-term perspective.
      • It reflects the government lacks the political will to get the job done.


    週五 18 二月 2011

    18 Feb 2011 列印 Email

    Category

       Social Security Policy – Poverty reduction Policy

    Issue

    • Work Incentive Traffic Subsidy

    News Content

    • The scheme was modified yesterday to win the support of the pro-establishment lawmakers who once vowed to support the adjournment motion led by pan-democrat legislator.
    • Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung told the lawmakers at a manpower panel meeting yesterday that the income limit for two-member households would raise to HK$12,000. And in order to include part-time workers, a half-rate subsidy of HK$300 would be granted to those work between 36 and 72 hours a month.
    • The revised scheme would cost HK$4.8 billion, and cover the total to 436,000 people.
    • Legislators from the Federation of Trade Unions and Liberal party had decided to vote in favor of the government.

    Questions

    • The eligibility criteria are still strict. Applicants would be mean-tested on a household basis
    • The subsidy is by nature a poverty-reduction measure aimed to help the working poor and narrow the rich-poor gap. Therefore it should benefit as many people as possible. The eligibility requirement should thus be loosened. No mean-tested is needed. As long as the applicant works for a certain period of time, he or she is entitled to have the subsidy.

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