Wednesday 17th October 2012

Dear Reader,

The welfare claims ratio
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 an 85% claims ratio - and a Government paper in 2006 put it at 91%. (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)

Xpress excess
Here's a horror story of excessive pay at Xpress Group (0185), a company you've probably never heard of, but pay attention, because it could just as easily happen to yours, as the Listing Rules do not prevent it. In the last 15 years, the controlling family have received HK$493m in pay as directors, while the loss attributable to shareholders was $248m. (8-Oct-2012)

Former Secretary for Development Mak Chai-kwong charged for alleged fraud
ICAC, 17-Oct-2012

Webb on "Backchat" re MPF
RTHK, 17-Oct-2012

Capital Wealth v Mayer Holdings Ltd (1116)
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Oct-2012
"It seems to me unusual (although not impossible) that the plaintiffs, or at least Capital Wealth Finance, would have agreed to provide the substantial loans on an undocumented, interest free and unsecured basis" - Jat Sew Tong.

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