28 February 2007

In the News, HK Style

I rarely watch the news but lately there have been some interesting stories on the local telly in Hong Kong. Today all in Hong Kong were treated to a new budget from the Government/Tyrants. I really don't have much to complain about other than the air quality, but it seems locals in Hong Kong have been miffed at the tax rate (16% for almost everyone). 16% is far far far far far lower than most countries I know of, but what can I say, Chinese people are cheap, it's not a stereotype, it's fact. Why else is almost everything made in China? More on that in a minute.

Today's budget announced that last year's salaries tax in HK will be cut for everyone by 50%!! That's a huge chunk of change. It's a one-time deal, but I imagine it could happen again, especially since it happened once, people will expect it again. Props to the government for actually giving people back their own money, or rather letting them keep it (In Hong Kong, you don't get taxed on each cheque, you pay at the end of the year). So now people have to pay the gov. 50% less across the board. That's pretty cool. Even with the maximum cut being $15,000HKD, that's still a lot of money.

I complain about the air quality so much, but today I'm going to let someone else do it for me. Here's an article from Vancouver about 'China's New Great Wall.' The 'New Great Wall' is actually the border of smoke/cloud/smog/toxins that floats between Hong Kong and China. It accounts for 80% of HK's pollution. If it wasn't for mainly Western Society's dependance on cheap labour cost in China, Hong Kong might actually be quite lovely in terms of air. If you cut even half of that 80%, the air quality would be similar to Vancouver on a really busy day. I could handle that.

"They're coming to their senses, ...They say what's the use of having so much money when my water is black and the air is foul?"

It took them almost 7 years to realize this? Just goes to show that people would rather die early on in life, than drink clean water with a little less money.

In other news...

"Hong Kong's three landfills could be at capacity in four to eight years and 450,000 tonnes of untreated sewage spews daily into picturesque Victoria Harbour."

Note to self, don't ever go swimming again in Hong Kong. If any tourist must go to a beach, pleeeeease go somewhere on the other side of Victoria Harbour. All things considered, Hong Kong smells pretty damned good... compared to say... a rotten carcus.

But please come visit!

I'm serious...

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