HIGH TIDE (MARCH 17TH 2015) – DAILY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Government’s funding proposal bundle; Low-cost carriers complaints soar; Mainlanders “didn’t come to shop”. Photo Credit: Chris Lusher.


 

Politics (Government &LegCo)
Pan-dems blast “abusive” Government for funding proposals dodge.
– Yesterday’s Financial Committee special meeting focused on the Government’s plan to withdraw 25 funding proposals to FC and included them into the Budget’s draft Estimates as a bundle for lawmakers to vote in LegCo general meeting
– Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury KC Chan admitted that including non-recurring expenditures into the Budget is a rare case which has not been practiced since 1985, but asserted the move is legitimate to increase procedural efficiency
– Pro-establishment camp blamed Pan-dems’ filibustering for the departure from conventions while Pan-dems accused the Gov’t of treating the LegCo as a “rubber-stamp” body
– Civic Party’s Alan Leong and Dennis Kwok argued that the Gov’t has no objective standard when deciding which proposals can be moved to the Estimates and which cannot

Government seeks to submit political reform proposal by May.
– Undersecretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Lau Kong-wah told the Panel on Constitutional Affairs that the Government will report on the second round consultation by next month and submit the final proposal in May
– Pan-dems meanwhile trashed the authorities’ decision that no changes would be made to the composition of the 2016 LegCo election
– HT’s summary on a long Week Ahead.

Panel on Education discusses Budget plan on education-related issues.
– Secretary for Education Eddie Ng briefed the LegCo Panel on Education on the Budget yesterday
– Education Ip Kin-yuen criticised the authorities for not giving enough support to students from self-financing institutes
– Civic Party’s Chan Ka-lok slammed Ng for compromising with the likes of Fanny Lo to “brainwash” students in the name of HK-mainland exchanges

Politics (general)

Budget Airlines prone to disputes, warns the Consumer Council.
– The Consumer Council warns cheap flight ticket buyers of additional charges as complaints about low cost carriers (LCCs) doubled last year to 764 cases
– 298 cases out of 764 were related to price disputes for extra charges on baggage and seat selection while 201 cases concerns with flight delay and cancellations
– such complaints may suggest that HongKongers are rather unfamiliar to the operations of LCCs compared with their Western fellows – LCCs are LC for a reason.

China & World

Mainland passengers “did not come to shop”.

– A few photos saw a group of Mainland travelers, who were said to be in transit in Hong Kong, wearing sashes with “Hong Kong – I don’t shop” written on them – a rather flashy way to show their resentment at recent anti-parallel trading protests
– An article on Global Times, meanwhile, compared recent shooting incident in Hong Kong to the protests, saying that they were all results of the eroding rule of law in the city