consultation on universal pensions in Hong Kong

The government of Hong Kong last week released a consultation paper on universal pensions. The initial response from concerned citizens, understandably, has been quite negative.

That the administration approached [Professor Nelson] Chow a couple of years ago and commissioned him to lead an extensive study into the subject [of universal pensions] has proven to be nothing more than a publicity stunt in an apparent effort to create an impression that it is taking public demand for a universal retirement scheme very seriously, when in fact it is not.

Worse still, after the government found that the report had not been written to its taste, [Chief Secretary Carrie] Lam simply shrugged off the entire report and showed a complete disdain in public for Chow’s professional advice.

Her cutting remarks once again demonstrated her arrogance and inflated ego and spoke volumes about how sincere the government really is in seeking public views on this matter.

Feeling compelled to expose the government’s pack of lies and prevent the public from being misled, the 180 academics who had taken part in Chow’s study decided to boycott the government consultation and conduct their own, to give the public a real picture of the true options they can have regarding universal pension schemes.

Aih Ching-tin, “Fake consultation on universal pension scheme doomed to failure“, EJ Insight (Hong Kong), 31 December 2015.

Click on the link above to access the full column. This article was initially published on 29 December in the Hong Kong Economic Journal. The translation from Chinese to English is by Alan Lee.

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