Financial Secretary John Tsang has shown how much the government cares about the environment. With the excuse of improving people's livelihood and supporting disadvantaged groups his budget allocates HK$4.3 billion to subside domestic electricity accounts. The 2008-09 budget grants each residential electricity account a subsidy of $1,800. At present, about 15 per cent of households in Hong Kong pay an average of not more than $150 a month for electricity charges. Incidentally I pay less than that, mainly because i live on Lamma island, and can keep my windows open instead of relying on air-con.
Instead of rewarding households that save energy, the subsidy will enable even low income households to turn up their air-con, boosting the revenue of electricity companies. The real winners are the shareholders of HK Electric and China Light & Power, the loser is obviously the environment. So much for sustainability.