Far more than fiscal incentives, Hong Kong deserves a system of public finance founded on 21st century values

The government’s 2018 budget address has generally been positively received. Paul Chan, the Financial Secretary, glows in an almost embarrassment of riches.

Last year the economy grew by 3.7 per cent, whilst inflation fell to 1.7 per cent. Government revenues continue to grow, and a record surplus of HK$138 billion was recorded for the last financial year.

Hong Kong now has HK$1.1 trillion in reserves, and another HK$3.6 trillion in the Exchange Fund. For any city in the world — indeed for most sovereign states — these would be outstanding figures.

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