|All eyes will be on Chan when he delivers his budget at the end of this month|
|Previous administrations didn't do enough for the elderly|
Two economists said the government failed to take into consideration the "China factor" that fueled rises on the Hong Kong stock market and the record-high land prices in recent years into its surplus projections.
"Hong Kong has been experiencing the biggest structural economic growth and it is because of China," said Franklin Lam Fan-keung, founder of think tank HKGolden50 and a former investment bank analyst who served the government's Central Policy Unit during the Asian financial crisis in 1997.
"But we did not food the growth, we did not pour money into social and economic infrastructure... Offices, hotels, and hospitals ended up being very expensive in Hong Kong.
"Yet with so much money [at hand], the government didn't build a new hospital or build a land bank, and elderly people's savings have been eroded by inflation," Lam continued. He said former financial secretary John Tsang Chun-wah had taken an overly frugal fiscal approach and failed to invest to grow the economy.
|The government needs to invest in infrastructure like hospitals|
It is shocking to find the government has totally missed the mark --again -- and again -- for underestimating its revenues. Do they think the general public will be so thrilled to hear that the surplus is X number of times the original estimate?
Sounds like really bad accounting skills and as Lam said, not taking into account how mainland Chinese buyers have totally jacked up housing prices in Hong Kong. The next question is what will Financial Secretary Chan do with the mind-boggling surplus?
If he can only think of one-off sweeteners and nothing long term then we know what we're in for. If this administration really cares about Hong Kong people then it will have the foresight to think really long term on how it can make lives better for its residents 10, 20 years down the road, not in the coming year.