July 09, 2005

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Of horses and mice

First, the good news. The SCMP reports:

A $21.4 billion surplus has been recorded for the 2004-05 financial year, largely a result of additional receipts from land premiums, salaries tax and stamp duty.

The surplus was $9.4 billion above the revised estimate of $12 billion announced in the 2005-06 budget, with spending $7.5 billion lower than forecast. Revenue amounted to $263.6 billion while spending totalled $242.2 billion. Fiscal reserves stood at $296 billion on March 31, $20.7 billion more than in the previous year.

Mind you it also reports Roddy Murray is in trouble again for causing a fuss at a Lantau McDonalds and overstaying his visa. So the happy news the Government has balanced its books 2 years early should mean there's plenty of scope to cut taxes...for example the disgraceful and discriminatory tax on foreign domestic helpers for starters. Or cancel the rise in income tax next year, which will cost $3.3 billion. It still leaves plenty in the kitty for whatever The Don fancies.

Now the bad news. Hong Kong was given the equestrian events of the 2008 Olympics. Which simply means the Hong Kong Jockey Club, a de facto Government agency, will spend $800 million in a land grab for an event which even the Government admits doesn't add up economically. And as if that's not enough, there are reports that Shanghai has now set aside land for a new Disneyland park and are hoping to have it open by the 2010 Expo, although naturally Disney are playing it down. Hong Kong Disneyland is effectively a Hong Kong Government venture and was lavished with public funds because it was to be Disney's only Chinese venture. Shame the Government forgot to insert that into the contract.

It's all good for the horse-loving mouseketeers of this town. It's not for the taxpayers.

Update 11th July

New Disney CEO lays out his China plans, specifically stating plans to open a park on the mainland.

posted by Simon on 07.09.05 at 01:15 PM in the Hong Kong category.


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'It's not for the taxpayers.' Quite so. But the angle is absent in TVB and ATV news.

posted by: dc on 07.09.05 at 02:12 PM [permalink]

well if the park is 4 times the size of HK Disney, and it opens in 2010, then it figures they should be on site building the thing no later than this xmas. Can the eagle eye readers in Shanghai spot any huge flattening of land in pudong?

posted by: weewhale on 07.09.05 at 02:17 PM [permalink]

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