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‘Yet again the budget doesn’t help the poor’ Listen
The financial secretary on Wednesday unveiled what critics described as a "lacklustre" and "uninspiring" budget blueprint. While Paul Chan proposed higher government spending to help meet society's needs, questions have already been raised about some of his policy initiatives. Annemarie Evans asked Dr Kenneth Chan, the Director of Comparative Governance and Public Policy Research Centre of Baptist University, what he made of Chan's budget proposals.
Tax measures reasonable and appropriate: expert Listen
Finance chief Paul Chan on Wednesday said he was "very concerned" about the tax burden on salary earners and is planning a 75-percent reduction in salaries tax for the 2018-19 financial year, subject to a ceiling of HK$20,000. The cap is significantly lower than last year's cap of HK$30,000. Jim Gould asked Agnes Wong, a tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, how reasonable it was for Chan to scale back tax concessions, which will mean bigger tax bills for a lot of people.
‘Independence talk is a national security issue’ Listen
The vice-president of Beijing's top think-tank on Hong Kong on Wednesday said talk of independence here is a national security issue, so the central government has every right to step in and see how Hong Kong is dealing with it. Professor Lau Siu-kai dismissed accusations from pan-democrats that Beijing's demand for a report into the banning of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party was "unprecedented interference". Lau said Beijing would be watching how courts deal with any further legal action that could be taken by the National Party. He told Janice Wong that if local courts overturn the government's decision to ban the party, Beijing could consider other options, such as enacting Article 23 national security legislation or interpreting the Basic Law.