Opinion

理財新哲學:增開支,房屋醫療問題僅略提

香港政府預計本年度財政盈餘將達到創紀錄的1380億港元,高達GDP的5﹒2%,在此背景下,香港新一屆政府宣布首份預算時目標明確,並以「理財新哲學」形容將會增加支出。

By: Date: March 20, 2018 Topic: Global Economics & Governance

该意见稿已发表于:

積穀防饑雖然有必要,但問題的另一面為是否應該無止境地累積儲備。香港政府預計本年度財政盈餘將達到創紀錄的1380億港元,高達GDP的5﹒2%,在此背景下,香港新一屆政府宣布首份預算時目標明確,並以「理財新哲學」形容將會增加支出。從表面數字看來,公共開支實際增長將會從去年的4﹒4%增加至14﹒1%,政府似乎兌現增加支出的承諾,但我們關注的是支出的走向。

公眾對「理財新哲學」的理解似乎與香港兩個最急需處理的社會問題掛勾,即與住房和醫療保健有關,但兩者支出卻只有小幅增加。相反地,教育和社會凝聚的支出佔比大幅增加。此外,走向多元經濟一直是政府的目標,創新科技於今年的預算案的次序甚至處於四大產業(即金融服務、貿易及物流、旅遊和工商業支援及專業服務)前面,但香港政府亦不忘帶來支持金融業的新政策,除了已引起廣泛注意的同股不同權外,還提出補貼首次債券發行人及綠色金融等政策。住房醫療問題上僅蜻蜓點水我們認為支持發展教育及新興行業看起來的確對香港未來有所幫助,然而就香港社會關注的主要問題而言,這顯然令人失望。除了重點關注的領域外,政府似乎更優先考慮安全和行政管理,而不是住房和健康的緊逼問題。具體來說,住房問題的語調與去年相比幾乎毫無變化。

就數字而言,政府維持未來五年內建設十萬間公共房屋的目標。換而言之,新增住宅單位供應量有機會超過新增本地家庭數目,但前提為政府房屋計畫真正實施,尤其是在各種因素不變之下,我們很難認為這次會有所不同。一直以來,實際私人房屋完工量一直以來低於預測值,而上屆政府亦未能兌現建造7﹒5萬個公屋單位的承諾,僅達到6﹒45萬套。

另一個香港逼在眉睫的結構性問題是醫療和人口老化加快,香港65歲以上人口將從2017年的16%升至2030年的26%。我們預計在醫療問題上應該有更強的措施,但這部分的政府支出總額比重卻從14%降至13%。雖然醫療實際支出增長7﹒7%,但這遠低於政府平均支出增長14﹒1%。

金錢並非成功創新的唯一因素

然而,除了香港的融資優勢之外,政府應該明白基建或商業物業並非為研發帶來成功的唯一因素,優秀的人才及創業友好的政策同等重要,甚至更重要,其中一個例子為很難想像初創公司於香港開設銀行帳戶其實極度困難。如果不意識到根本問題,資源只會帶來另一個房地產項目,或是資金沒有分配到真正的創新項目,這使得香港在與深圳競爭處於困境。

總而言之,「理財新哲學」看似放眼未來而非著眼現在。政府增加支持教育、科技創新及金融市場支出,但對於香港時下急需處理的社會問題只採取蜻蜓點水的取態,對於住房和醫療問題基本上毫無作為。


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint.

Due to copyright agreements we ask that you kindly email request to republish opinions that have appeared in print to communication@bruegel.org.

View comments
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

The United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement (USMCA)

While final ratification of the USMCA (also known as Nafta 2.0) is pending, we review economists’ assessment of the agreement.

By: Silvia Merler Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 22, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

How could Europe benefit from the US-China trade war?

Under pressure from the US, Beijing is set to be more open to making new allies.

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 18, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Asia-Europe Economic Forum 2018 - Public

This year's Asia-Europe Economic Forum (AEEF) will be held in Brussels on 17-18 October

Speakers: Chung Chul, Xie Fuzhan, Matthias Helble, Jyrki Katainen, Jin Keyu, Jae-Seung Lee, Erik van der Marel, Yoichi Otabe, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Rintaro Tamaki, Amb. Karsten Warnecke and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Solvay Library, Rue Belliard 137, 1000 Bruxelles Date: October 18, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Backstage: The new balance of Asia-EU-US trade relations

Amid the Asia-Europe Economic Forum on the fringes of the 12th ASEM Summit, Bruegel senior fellow hosts a conversation on developing global trade relations, with guests Moonsung Kang, professor as Korea University, and Michael G. Plummer, director at SAIS Europe – Johns Hopkins University, for an episode of the Bruegel Backstage series on ‘The Sound of Economics’.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 17, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Can Eurozone Reform Help Contain Trump?

The Trump administration knows that a key source of US economic leverage is the dollar’s role as the world’s dominant reserve currency. Countering America’s disproportionate power to destabilize the global economy thus requires reducing the share of international trade conducted in dollars.

By: Jochen Andritzky Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 17, 2018
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Asia-Europe Economic Forum 2018 - Closed-door

This year's Asia-Europe Economic Forum (AEEF) will be held in Brussels on 17-18 October

Speakers: William Becker, Franco Bruni, Zsolt Darvas, Andreas Esche, He Fan, Michael G. Plummer, Thomas Grjebine, Gao Haihong, Kiyoto Ido, Sébastien Jean, MA Jun, Moonsung Kang, Stefan Mair, Yung Chul Park, Choonsung Park, Sayuri Shirai, Guntram B. Wolff and Naoyuki Yoshino Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 17, 2018
Read about event

Upcoming Event

Nov
7-9
09:30

Global Think Tank Summit 2018

The 2018 Global Think Tank Summit is organised by Bruegel and he Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the University of Pennsylvania. It will be held in Brussels on 7-9 November.

Topic: Energy & Climate, Global Economics & Governance Location: Bozar, Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Global markets’ tepid reaction to China’s new opening

China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001 was greeted with great fanfare. But near silence has greeted the recent removal by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission of caps on foreign ownership of Chinese financial institutions. For Beijing, the apparent lack of interest might be an issue of too little, too late.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 11, 2018
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

External Publication

The EU response to US trade tariffs

The authors contributed to the new issue of 'Intereconomics - Review of European Economic Policy' with a paper on the EU's strategy for managing the trade war. The authors argue that to minimise the economic costs of the trade war and protect multilateralism, the EU's best and only response is to retaliate.

By: Maria Demertzis and Gustav Fredriksson Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 11, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Are economic and political freedoms interrelated?

Democracy has not always accompanied market economy. But in modern societies, economic and political freedoms are increasingly interconnected. Democracy and market economy can support each other. This is particularly true in post-communist economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Thus, authoritarian tendencies observed in these and other regions can negatively affect quality of economic policy and governance.

By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 10, 2018
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Opinion

Ten years after the crisis: The West’s failure pushing China towards state capitalism

When considering China’s renewed state capitalism, we should be mindful of the damage done by the 2008 financial crisis to the world's perception of Western capitalism.

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: October 10, 2018
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

Financial panic and the Great Recession

A debate on the roles of financial panic in the Great Recession has been pitting Ben Bernanke against Paul Krugman in what has been characterised as “the battle of the beards”. Other economists have joined the discussion on the new American Economic Association’s discussion forum.

By: Silvia Merler Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: October 8, 2018
Load more posts