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Rants Complaints about the poor standard of our taxi service and the introduction of Uber did not cause our government to shake up the taxi industry and insist that standards improve. Instead the plans are to introduce a premium service for which we will pay more.

Complaints that our hospitals A&E services are being misused led to the proposed increase in the fee from $100 to $180 for using the service plus the suggestion that more people should use private medicine.

Complaints that our landfills are being filled up too quickly did not bring about improved recycling facilities nor restrictions on the amount of packaging that manufacturers use but did result in the proposed waste management fee, which will be a great deterrent for those who choose to dump their rubbish in the streets, which they do at the moment despite there being no charge.

Complaints about the amount of illegal parking have led to a proposed increase in parking fines from $320 to $400, as if the wealthy are really going to be bothered, particularly when you compare the cost of paying parking fines to the cost of parking legally in one of our multi-storey car parks.

And to solve complaints about the so-called housing crisis the government introduces measures to make it more expensive to borrow money for a second apartment and yet people are still queuing up to add to their collection.

I think we can see a bit of a pattern here. Charging more will solve will all our problems, or at least that’s what the government would like us to think. Do we see improvement in any of these situations? Of course not. Fines are not the answer.

The government seems unable, or unwilling, to analyse the real cause of problems and lacks the imagination and the will to stand up against vested interests and the rich and powerful. In a bizarre article in this morning’s South China Morning Post, Alex Lo argues that, it is right to look at building houses in the country parks, despite there being plenty of other land on which to build, because the government is too spineless to stand up against the landowners and the Heung Yee Kuk.

With Carrie Lam’s cabinet waiting in the wings likely to deliver more of the same, the situation is not encouraging. We need strong government with initiative and imagination that is prepared to fight for what is right but people like that probably would not go down too well with Beijing.


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