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Fixing Inequality in Hong Kong$
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Yue Chim Richard Wong

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390625

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390625.001.0001

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On Balancing Rising Long-Term Budgets for a Free Society

On Balancing Rising Long-Term Budgets for a Free Society

Chapter:
(p.225) 31 On Balancing Rising Long-Term Budgets for a Free Society
Source:
Fixing Inequality in Hong Kong
Author(s):

Yue Chim Richard Wong

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888390625.003.0031

Social welfare as a share of government expenditures has risen the most over time, in part because of growing demand from those with such needs: people with disabilities, elderly people without means, troubled teenagers, divorced individuals, drug addicts, and so on. In addition, the politicization of society has increased the voice of organized advocacy groups to seek social welfare handouts from government as a means to gain political support. New policy initiatives currently in the works to help the working poor, coupled with the highly politicized demands for old age social pensions, all threaten to increase government expenditures even further. In conclusion, housing, education, health, and social welfare expenditures as a whole have increased. Every single component of these expenditures can be safely predicted to rise further into the long-term future due to demographic and political forces. Will the economy be able to finance these activities? And if radical changes were made, what will happen to the society? Will there be political consensus on the way forward?

Keywords:   Fiscal deficits, Social welfare, Expenditures, Conservative fiscal budgeting

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