Nostalgia Budget – hub-zones, property stimulus and tourism

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivers his Budget. Among the exciting highlights… At the first sign of a slight weakening in housing prices, mortgage-cap relaxation to help prop up the market. Money-down-the-toilet subsidies for InnoLife healthtech hub-zones and companies hoping to seize Greater Bay Area ‘opportunities’. Funds to prepare for a resumption – as if life’s not depressing enough – of tourism. And to shut you all up, another HK$10,000 in consumption vouchers for everyone.

Do we see evidence that Beijing officials are starting to micromanage local revenue and spending policy? There’s a massive increase in the police vehicle and equipment budget to HK$500 million, for flying anti-sedition surveillance robots or whatever. Some of the tech subsidies will go to Mainland institutions. And of course the HK$100 billion for ‘Northern Metropolis’ infrastructure. (Given the extra housing the region will provide, this is arguably sensible – certainly better value than a bridge to Zhuhai or the deranged Lantau reclamation.) But mostly, the Budget is the usual predictable display of Hong Kong bureaucrats’ vision and imagination.

Back in the Covid here-and-now… Some interesting comments from yesterday on the feasibility and/or pointlessness of mass-testing. And more today from a health expert who ponders the possibility of a full citywide lockdown but doubts that the authorities can deliver food to everyone for 14 days. The story also quotes lawmaker and businessman Michael Tien, who was initially skeptical but now proposes a ‘strictly enforced’ nine-day lockdown with one person per household allowed out for an hour a day to buy food…

…he changed his mind after “looking at [his] retail numbers [which] dropped 70 percent from the weeks before,” Tien said.

“The situation now is that business has dropped to a point where it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re open or not,” he said. “Nine days is very short.”

So come on, people opposing lockdown – stop being so selfish, and think of the G2000 clothing chain.

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4 Responses to Nostalgia Budget – hub-zones, property stimulus and tourism

  1. A Poor Man says:

    If one person per household is allowed go shopping an hour or two a day for essentials, what shops would they shop at if the people who work at the shops aren’t working? If the workers/owners of shops are allowed to go out to open the shops, is that really a lockdown? Assuming that the average household has 3 people, and 5 percent or so of the population are allowed to operate the stores and other basic infrastructure of the city, approximately 40% of the population would be allowed out on the streets on any given day. That doesn’t include the civil servant/po po who would be out enforcing the lockdown.

    Michael Tien occasionally exhibits common sense, but not this time. Lucky for him his father accumulated very substantial real estate holdings that can prop up G2000 and make him and his brother appear to be a very successful businessmen. Life must be easy for the second generation rent collectors.

  2. donkey says:

    I wish to impose a 30-day ban on illogical reasoning, so that someone will finally wise up and realise that doing martial law style huge tasks and projects and imposing lockdowns on society has NEVER worked, and won’t work, and only makes things worse for the underlying economy.
    Of course you can’t convince a nationalist, Leninist micromanaging cadre horde to do anything other than infantilise themselves and play Big Boss to impress their managers.

  3. Toph says:

    Allowing essential businesses to operate and allowing people to leave their homes to buy food and exercise was how Victoria, Australia and Italy implemented their lockdowns in the pre-vaccine stages of the pandemic. It did slow transmission down but it took a hell of a lot longer than 9 days.

  4. Vic Hislop - shark hunter and man of mystery. says:

    I am hearing rumors about “black boys” planning to torch Curry Cunt’s “testing facilities” around town. There are going to be an awful lot of them so there will be many targets as well. Personally I don’t mind a little fireworks, as long as nobody gets hurt.

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