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Taxation Without RepresentationThe History of Hong Kong's Troublingly Successful Tax System$
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Michael Littlewood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789622090996

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622090996.001.0001

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Cowperthwaite Is Reined In: 1961–1971

Cowperthwaite Is Reined In: 1961–1971

(p.149) 6 Cowperthwaite Is Reined In: 1961–1971
Taxation Without Representation

Michael Littlewood

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines the continuation of the remarkable economic growth during Sir John Cowperthwaite's term as Financial Secretary from 1961 until 1971. As a result of economic growth and consequent surpluses, the government's reserves rose and by the 1960s the Hong Kong government had not only discharged its indebtedness to Britain, but gone on to become one of Britain's larger creditors. In 1970 Cowperthwaite granted a number of minor tax concessions, apparently because he thought the government simply did not need the money; but as a result of the growth of the economy, the government's revenues were nevertheless 20 percent more than the year before. The 1960s was referred to as the “Cowperthwaite years” and Cowperthwaite was widely thought not merely to have exercise “virtually complete control of the Colony's finances” but also to have used his control of the purse strings to determine government policy generally.

Keywords:   John Cowperthwaite, Hong Kong government, economy, revenues, Cowperthwaite years, government policy

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