Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Money for Nothing

My sympathies on most issues are usually with the pan-democrats in LegCo rather than with the Hong Kong government, but their call to scrap the means test on the government's proposed Old Age Living Allowance raises a simple question that none of them has yet answered to my satisfaction.  As a taxpayer, I am happy to contribute to the support of those elderly people in real need.  But what the hell gives anyone the right to take my hard-earned money and give it to people who don't need it?

Filibuster or not, the government should stand firm on this one.


Anonymous said...

The problem is that it is difficult to identify who is truly needy and who is not. It is quite inefficient in practice to try to assess who is truly needy.

The amounts involved are far smaller than spent on pointless infrastructure projects like the bridge to macau or the railway to nowhere

Private Beach said...

It's true that in some cases the cost of administering a means test may be disproportionate to the money saved, but many of the potential recipients already complete a declaration of assets for other government allowances such as CSSA or disability allowance, and the proposed system is very simple.

It's also true that the amount involved is relatively small at present, but Hong Kong's rapidly aging population will see it balloon enormously within a few years.

I agree with the government's critics that we need a more comprehensive long-term solution to the problem of the elderly poor, but that should not prevent us helping those in immediate need already, which seems to be the likely outcome of the current impasse.

ulaca said...

I'd hate to think even a cent of my taxes was going to further finance Li Ka Shing or Stanley Ho.