Tycoon Li Ka-shing called for higher corporate taxes in Hong Kong to help the city tackle the problem of wealth inequality, which has been blamed for growing unrest among local youth.
“Tax companies an extra 1 or 2 per cent, then a lot of the poor would benefit,” Li told Bloomberg TV in an interview aired Tuesday.
The government must think of ways to counter the rising discontent among its younger residents, the billionaire said, outlining the need for fresh initiatives.
“The most important thing the government needs to think about are the options made available to young people,” said Li, who is the chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings.
Saying that Hong Kong is going through its toughest times in two decades, Li singled out education and healthcare as areas where officials could be funding more with additional taxes on companies.
Hong Kong has among the lowest corporate-tax rates in the world, capping them at 16.5 percent compared with a global average of 23.6 percent.
Unlike US billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Li said he opposes the idea of higher taxes on rich individuals, Bloomberg noted.
“You mustn’t tax some people more and some people less or else it’s chaos,” Hong Kong’s richest man said.
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