Since around about June 2019 the sense of many Hong Kong (HK) people is that there is no stability in HK - hence there is no prosperity, so there is no economy as we know it!
CCP enacted the National Security Law on 1 July 2020.
HK's Joint Declaration rule OF law has been replaced with CCP's arbitrary rule BY law. Today in HK there is no rule OF law , so there is no longer any foundation for the kind of economy the city once had.
The underlying reason for this instability stems primarily from the insecurities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) - especially those of Emperor Xi Jinping - and HK government; resulting in CCP's illegal annexation of HK!
Readers who are versed in the history of China will undoubtedly reflect upon the 'great famine' and other 'natural' disasters - which were caused by CCP's nationalism, cruelty, incompetence and negligence - what befell the people of China when at least 77 million citizens died during the reign of Chairman Mao!
The signals that have been coming out of China and HK lately are worrisome because they signal an increased rigidity amongst hardline communists. China has a population of roughly 1.4 billion; at least 600 million citizens are earning less than 1,000Yuan a month - under Emperor Xi Jinping all poverty in China was supposed to have ended in 2020!
There are only two options for CCP; either way China must become a democracy!
With the termination of the Joint Declaration by CCP, today is already 2047!
Please see our blogs:
'Prosperity and stability are empty words; CCP is without a long-term strategy for Hong' Kong
These UN letters to China on HK protests are significant and relevant:
HK government in plight - budget deficit of $400 billion｜Kwan Cheuk-chiu
Apple Daily 7 November 2020. (Format added).
Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau made public at the end of last month the total expenditure and revenue of the first half of this fiscal year (up to September 30, 2020): HKD427.8 billion and HKD148 billion respectively.
The budget deficit was HKD279.8 billion (US$36.1billion), which grew almost triple year-on-year from HKD95.4 billion.
Though it is not easy to make forecasts about the yearly deficit as the government’s tax revenue comes in mainly in the later part of the fiscal year, Hong Kong as an export-oriented economy is bound to be more seriously impacted than many other places by the large-scale global economic contraction brought about by the pandemic.
Worse still, the government’s major tax revenue comes from profit tax, salary tax, stamp duty and land sales, which are all influenced by the economic cycle. Take the financial crisis of 2008-2009 as an example, the revenue from profit tax nosedived by 26% in the fiscal year 2009-2010. If the calculation is based on HKD155.9 billion profit tax of last fiscal year and if the history repeats itself, the revenue from profit tax will drop by HKD40.6 billion this fiscal year.
The impact on the local economy ushered in by the pandemic has been most devastating since the end of the Second World War in the last century. As such, most enterprises are encountering an abominable business environment.
According to the business performance of the first half or the first three quarters of this year announced by a large bank and a few major real estate developers, a substantial drop in profit is palpable. Moreover, as the runaway global pandemic subsists, economies of various countries will not bounce back dramatically, hence Hong Kong economy not being able to perform well.
Provided that the economy cannot shake off recession in the short run, tax revenue will be dragged down. As far as yours truly estimates, profit tax of this fiscal year will decrease by HKD40 billion to HKD50 billion and revenue from land sales will fall by half year-on-year, which is HKD70 billion. It is crystal clear that the government revenue can be cut by more than HKD100 billion only with the drops of these two revenue items, which is absolutely a staggering figure.
Carrie Lam’s administration has spent HKD300 billion on anti-epidemic measures. We have to yet wait and see if further measures against the economic downturn are to be launched.
However, from Financial Secretary Chan Mo-po and Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong proclaiming the possibility of holding back the 2-dollar passenger discount for the elderly above 60, it is understood that the government has felt the fiscal plight or else a person as ostentatious as Carrie Lam would not even bother to put aside a trifling amount of HKD1.7 billion!
In view of the economy still in the recessive stage and depletion of the fiscal reserve, the deficit of this fiscal year is expected to reach HKD400 billion, which means the reserve will fall to HKD750 billion to HKD760 billion. Is it terrifying?
The answer is affirmative.
The uptrend in the deficit will be sustained while the population is ageing fast and the government finance has got into a predicament with no turning back.
(Kwan Cheuk Chiu, economist, director of ACE Centre for Business and Economic Research)
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Vegetables as substitutes｜Ngan Shun-kau
Apple Daily 8 November 2020. (Format added).
During the Fifth Plenary Session of the CCP Central Committee in Beijing, the restaurant pickled vegetable peels and skins.
Were they actually consumed by participants or was it merely for publicity? If the entire nation does the same, how many bottles and cans are required, and how much manpower is involved? If they are all discarded in the end, how big of a waste will that be?
While some eat vegetable peels to curb hunger, some set fire to the barn.
Looking at the two together will make you realize how absurd the world can be.
When I was young, I also experienced the days when eating vegetables was fashionable. It was during the Great Famine.
Before the famine, we went to the public mess hall for communal dining. At that time, grain production was promising, and the government encouraged its people to eat as much as they wish. Communism was realized ahead of schedule. The canteen offered free white rice, which also came with sliced beef. Everyone swallowed down the food with a sense of dread, knowing that it would not last. As expected, it was unsustainable within weeks and got worse by the day.
We lived in a small town, which is the hometown of overseas Fujian Chinese. Many families got help from outside the country. There were also relatives and friends who sent flour, pork lard and sugar from Hong Kong and Macao in case of emergencies. Therefore, there was no serious starvation in our town. Back then, our staple food was sweet potatoes and dried sweet potatoes. The old ones turned black and moldy, making it hard to swallow. Pork lard was scarce. Pork costs more than 10 Chinese yuan per pound, and oysters cost more than one yuan per pound. At that time, the monthly salary of a working-class man was only about 10 to 20 yuan.
When the food shortage came, the government promoted “vegetables as substitutes”.
Since staple food was insufficient, it suggested eating vegetables to curb hunger. Vegetables were not very filling, and without protein, people were suffering from malnutrition. Towards the end, even vegetables were all gone and there was nothing left to fill the belly with.
There was a common disease called edema. The swelling body is the result of severe malnutrition. Press your finger on your skin, if you see an indentation, you have edema. It could be fatal if treatment was not received in time.
Only when people were suffering from edema, the government provided a small amount of crude rice bran, brown sugar, ginger, and salted hairtail fish, so that the sick could replenish a little bit of nutrient. Still, lives were lost.
Therefore, in the years of the Great Famine, there was no such thing as starving to death, just sick from edema.
The Great Famine caused economic imbalance across the nation, and daily supplies were almost cut off. At that time, most families did not have electric lights installed. Ordinary people lighted kerosene lamps. Later, when the supply of kerosene was also cut off, bean oil was used. Those were tiny lamps; small wick, small flame. The room was dim all night, lit by a bean-sized flame almost engulfed by darkness. That’s how we lived then.
From Mao’s launch of the Great Leap Forward, the introduction of free communal dining, to eating vegetables as substitutes, was the best manifestation of what goes up must come down.
It certainly is not a good sign that the National People’s Congress serves vegetable peels at its meeting.
(Ngan Shun-kau is a veteran publisher and writer. His publications and works are award-winning.)
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