Rose Chen, 16, Leung Shek Chee College
Absolutely. We have a big wealth gap in Hong Kong. The rich control and monopolise our markets, while the poor are forced to worry about basic things, like having a place to live. To fix this, we should raise the tax rate to 50 per cent for the rich. It would help to close the gap between rich and poor. The government could use the tax to help those who need help. That’s why it’s a big yes from me.
Amilk Woo Hoi-ching, 16, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School
I don’t think it’s a good idea. A high tax rate may discourage workers from doing well. They might prefer to do easier jobs and earn less money, to avoid paying more tax. If you have this attitude, then you probably won’t work as hard. Our best workers might want to leave Hong Kong, and go to a country where the tax rates are lower. That would deprive Hong Kong of our best workers, and make our city less competitive.
Dragon Lo Koon-kit, 17, Po Leung Kuk Wu Chung College
The answer to this is definitely a YES. Hong Kong has long been known for having a huge disparity between rich and poor. The rich live luxurious upper class lives, and the poor find it hard to even make a living. An increase in tax rate would help close the gap between the two. If the rich are required to contribute more to society, the money can then be used to help the underprivileged. If their quality of life improves, this would eventually help Hong Kong as a whole.
Leo Chong, 17, Pentecostal School
There are lots of underprivileged people in Hong Kong. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. I think we should raise the tax rate to 50 per cent for people who make more than HK$10 million a year for two reasons. The first is that our government would be able to give more help to the poor from the higher tax rates. The second reason is that I think rich people should feel a responsibility to others. They are the people who have the ability to help, so they should take better care of our society.
Rachel Lo Hoi-yuet, 14, Po Leung Kuk Ma Kam Ming College
We should not raise the tax rate because it is not fair. People earn more if they work harder. They should not be punished for that. A higher tax rate will make people not want to work as hard. Think about this in terms of being a student. If a student gets 100 points on his exam, his parents ask him to give them money. If he gets 90 points, he won’t have to pay his parents. Which would you rather be, the student with 100 points, or 90 points?
In our next Talking Points, we'll discuss:
Should computer coding be part of the primary school curriculum?
We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to firstname.lastname@example.org by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.