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Driven to cars by housing costs 2017.10.20
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YOUNG people buy cars so that they can have some space of their own since they cannot afford flats, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan (運輸及房屋局局長陳帆) claims. His idea was criticised immediately by a Democratic Party legislator.
Chan advanced his theory on a radio programme when asked whether there would be any change in policies to slow down the rate that people buy cars.
Car sales are driven by young people’s need for space, he responded, claiming youths think along the lines that “property prices are skyrocketing and I cannot afford to purchase a flat. But I want some personal space to let my body and soul wander off once in a while.”
Chan also mentioned government officials considering “soft approaches” for reducing the desire to own a car, such as improving the efficiency and comfort of public transport.
Raising the first-registration tax for new car purchases would be a last resort, he said.
More than 25,000 new private cars were registered from January to August this year compared to 34,490 for the whole of 2016.
Democratic Party legislator Andrew Wan Siukin tore into Chan’s theory, saying it was “rubbing salt into a wound”, adding: “It’s bad enough young people cannot afford flats. Now Chan is also blaming them for taking up parking space too.”
Chan’s words reflected a lack of understanding of young people, he said.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 23 October 2017)

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