減少稅金‧善用公帑‧簡政便民 Lower Tax‧Less Waste‧Efficiency Government
The Australian@Salesmen march against HK property plan(08-07-2013)
THOUSANDS of real estate agents have taken
to Hong Kong's streets in protest at government efforts to curb soaring
property prices, saying new transaction taxes and other measures are
threatening their business.
"There are 37,000 agents in Hong Kong
and there were only 3,000 transactions last month," said Raymond Ho, a
spokesman for Sunday's rally organisers.
"The policies have frozen the market.
A lot of small property agent firms will close in the future."
Organisers said 23,000 joined the rally
while police put the turnout at 5,500. Protesters chanting slogans marched
through the busy Causeway Bay shopping district before assembling at the
government headquarters at Admiralty.
Home prices in the crowded city have risen
by 120 per cent since 2008, and by more than 300 per cent from their previous
peak in 1997.
An 81 square metre apartment in the
middle-market Tai Koo Shing estate sold for more than HK$10 million (A$1.42
million) last year, after being priced at about HK$3 million in 2003.
Prices in the luxury market have been
pushed up by wealthy buyers from mainland China. Hong Kong residents have also
been investing in property because the local currency is pegged to the US
dollar and bank interest rates are lower than inflation.
Officials say the measures to cool the
market, in the form of extra stamp duties on some purchases, are aimed at
stemming short-term speculative inflows.
They have so far had little effect in
driving down prices but sales have dropped off dramatically.
Shih Wing-ching, co-founder of the
Centaline property agency who joined the rally, said the cooling measures
hindered property owners from freely selling their investments since the stamp
duties discourage potential buyers.
Ho said 90 per cent of property agents
received no commissions last month and the number of transactions dropped by 70
per cent since the cooling measures were introduced.
Housing minister Anthony Cheung stressed on
Friday the measures were exceptional, in an apparent attempt to appease growing
hostile sentiment from the business sector.
"We still feel that the market could
be volatile, so we have to be very careful about any bubble risk," Cheung
told reporters. "These measures are exceptional measures under exceptional
Momentum 107 was established in mid 2007. The aims of Momentum 107 are to defend lower tax, less waste and promote efficiency Government. The name, Momentum 107, is derived from article 107 of the Basic Law, the requirements of entry to the Hong Kong Government, fiscal balance and avoids deficits. In 2008, we registered as World Taxpayers Association members, the Hong Kong regional organizations, with 48 countries and regions worldwide 60 member organizations linked exchange.
The activities held include “Election of the top ten of government wastage policy”, “Oppose to the Mandatory Medical Fund” and so on. In addition, members will actively write articles, and launch the social actions to response Government to stop wasting. We welcome all the people join us as a supporter.