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Government housing measures ‘may drive prices up’  Listenfacebook
Housing experts are questioning whether the government's new measures to boost the supply of homes will do anything to rein in Hong Kong's soaring property prices. Developers who hold on to completed flats for six months or more without selling them will be charged a new vacancy tax; and prices for subsidised Home Ownership Scheme flats will be delinked from the market and significantly reduced. But analysts aren't convinced that these measures will have any perceptible effect on the market. David Faulkner, the managing director of real estate services company Colliers International, says he thinks a government move to build subsidised housing on land originally earmarked for private flats, could even drive prices up. He also told Annemarie Evans that the Chief Executive Carrie Lam's contention that the measures are designed to boost flats supply rather than drive down prices, is rather curious:
US criticism of HK’s fight against human trafficking ‘deplorable’  Listenfacebook
The government has reacted angrily to a new report from the US State Department, which accuses Hong Kong of not doing enough to fight human trafficking. For the third straight year, the SAR is on a Tier 2 Watch List, and narrowly escaped being downgraded only because it promised new measures against human trafficking a few months ago. The administration says it takes "strong exception" to the report, and said the US's failure to recognise the city's efforts was "deplorable and unacceptable". Jim Gould asked Annie Li from Justice Centre Hong Kong if the government is right to say that its efforts haven't been taken into account:
EU migration policy agreement short on details  Listenfacebook
European Union leaders have reached agreement on migration policy after marathon talks in Brussels. The proposals aim to restrict the movement of migrants within Europe and set up centres to process asylum requests. It's unclear which countries would host the centres, which would be voluntary, or receive refugees. Annemarie Evans asked our London correspondent Gavin Grey if the agreement is good news for migrants: