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Articles: Social Welfare

Kong Yunming v Director of Social Welfare
HK Court of Final Appeal, 17-Dec-2013
A landmark case on Articles 25, 36 and 145 of the Basic Law. As Justice Bokhary notes: "It will be noticed at once that these guarantees of equality are not confined to permanent residents. Article 25...speaks of all residents...". This ruling thus has implications for the proposed Buyer's Stamp Duty and Double Stamp Duty, which both discriminate against non-Permanent Residents. It adds support to our view that the proposed duties are unconstitutional.
Webb on "Backchat" re policy address
RTHK, 17-Jan-2013
With Starry Lee (Executive Council, LegCo, DAB), Albert Ho (LegCo, DP) and Nick Brooke (Harbourfront Commission, Science and Technology Parks Corp).
HK Govt launches TV propaganda campaign for OALA
YouTube, 18-Oct-2012
Never mind the fact that the Legislative Council hasn't yet approved financing for it!
The welfare claims ratio
UPDATED 21-Oct: a newspaper columnist who opposes means-testing of the proposed Old Age Living Allowance recently claimed that it is an "open secret" that most of the elderly who qualify for fruit money don't claim it. We put that urban myth to rest with detailed estimates showing at least a 90% claims ratio. (17-Oct-2012)
Help the needy, not the needless
We price the proposed Old Age Living Allowance if means-testing is scrapped to make it a universal pension, and what it would mean for tax rates down the road to a welfare state. We show you the increasingly educated and affluent profile of future retirees, and call on Government to refocus on a better, properly means-tested and rebranded elderly CSSA system. We also look at the $2 fare scheme, another scattergun attempt at welfare. (12-Oct-2012)
The cost of a universal pension
Following Jim Walker's guest article today, we run the numbers to show why a universal pension would put HK on the road to fiscal hell, a high-tax European-style welfare state. The ageing population means a HK$6k per month pension in 2039 would imply at least a 35% tax rate, and probably higher as mobile profits and professionals leave. Even 13 years from now, tax rates would rise to at least 28.5% to balance the budget. (12-Mar-2011)
Universal pensions in HK: the case against
In a guest contribution, economist Jim Walker lays out the case against calls for a universal pension in HK, including the lessons from history of the European welfare state. (12-Mar-2011)
CE shelves means-testing of Higher Old Age Allowance, raises it to HK$1,000/m
HK Government, 24-Oct-2008
That's a 41.8% increase from $705/m over-70, regardless of wealth, and a 60% increase from $625/m for those aged 65-69 (who remain means-tested on application).
CE floats means-testing of OAA & raising it to $1,000/m in policy address
HK Government, 15-Oct-2008
As proposed, existing recipients will not be affected, i.e. over-70s who have already applied for OAA can stay on the current rate without means-testing.
CE announces one-off handouts
HK Government, 16-Jul-2008

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