Talks may mean lower power bills

Kenneth Lau

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Households can expect cheaper electricity if talks between the government and the power companies on reducing the amount of profit they can make are successful.

Speaking at a Legislative Council meeting yesterday, Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said the government will start negotiating with CLP Power and Hongkong Electric next year after taking advice from a consultant.

Under the current deal with the government, the two power companies are permitted to earn 9.99 percent on their net fixed assets, but the report has suggested lowering this to 6 to 8 percent.

“If the permitted rate of return is lowered, the overall tariff will have room to move downward … but in fact we also need to consider other factors. If we use more renewable energy, users may need to pay higher tariffs,” Wong said.


The government received a total of 15,762 submissions, 15,496 of which were from individuals and 266 from organizations.

Wong said almost all of the opinions agreed with the current scheme of control agreements, but there is still room for improvement in several matters, such as permitted rate of return, energy saving and tariff approval mechanism.

Most of the respondents also said the current electricity supply of Hong Kong is reliable, and the tariff is reasonable. It was unnecessary to introduce competition purely for the sake of providing more choices.

Most of the respondents who were willing to pay higher tariffs said they could afford 5-10 percent more for the cost of renewable energy.

“The public paid much concern to the permitted rate of return issue, after considering different opinions collected from different channels, including the economic environment and similar investments overseas, we consider it was necessary to further lower the permitted rate of return,” Wong said.

The current scheme of control agreements expire in 2018.

The Liberal Party’s James Tien Pei-chun suggested that even if the permitted rate of return was reduced to 6-8 percent, it would still be too high.

“On today’s standard, a 6-8 percent return rate is really good, because the interest rate is low. Even if US increases its interest rate, it should be very mild. In the coming five years, it’s impossible for the interest rate to reach 6 percent,” he said.



Two candidates fielded by the Osaka Restoration Association won gubernatorial and mayoral elections in Osaka on Sunday on the platform of a renewed bid to reorganize the Osaka city administration, after voters rejected the plan earlier this year, Kyodo News projections showed.

Incumbent Ichiro Matsui, 51, secured a second four-year term as governor of the western Japan prefecture, while former House of Representatives member Hirofumi Yoshimura, 40, won the Osaka mayoral election.

The high-profile double election was seen as a litmus test for the regional political group’s key policy of reorganizing Osaka city into a metropolitan government similar to Tokyo’s, after city residents rejected the plan in a May referendum by a narrow margin.

The Osaka Restoration Association, led by outgoing Mayor Toru Hashimoto, argues that the reform will help save taxpayers’ money by reducing administrative overlaps between the city and prefectural governments in Osaka.

“We are going to continue Osaka Ishin’s reform that has been pursued” by Hashimoto, Matsui said at a press conference after early projections showed he won the race. The Osaka Restoration Association’s Japanese name is “Osaka Ishin no Kai.”

At the same press conference, Yoshimura said he will continue discussions about modifying the administrative reform proposal.

Given the electoral outcome, a referendum on Osaka administrative reform may be called again before elections are held in municipalities across the country in the spring of 2019.

The latest victory for the regional political group could also give a boost to a national political party recently launched by Hashimoto with an eye on the House of Councillors elections next summer.

The new party, also called Osaka Ishin no Kai in Japanese, was formed with defectors from the Japan Innovation Party. Matsui serves as its secretary general just as he does for the Osaka Restoration Association.

Hashimoto’s new political party has kept a distance from opposition parties seeking political realignment and does not appear hesitant about forming an alliance with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration in areas such as constitutional amendment, political analysts said.

After his proposal was rejected in the referendum, Hashimoto announced his retirement from politics once his term as mayor expires in mid-December. But the lawyer-turned-politician has expressed interest in advising the new party on legal and policy matters.

In the gubernatorial election, Matsui defeated two independents, Takako Kurihara, a 53-year-old former Osaka prefectural assembly member recommended by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Yukinori Mima, a 65-year-old former high school teacher, according to the projections.

In the mayoral race, Yoshimura was pitted against Akira Yanagimoto, 41, a former Osaka city assembly member recommended by the LDP, Chozo Nakagawa, 59, former mayor of the city’s Kita Ward, and Hidehisa Takao, 33, a part-time worker.

Before winning the gubernatorial race in Osaka four years ago, Matsui served as a member of the prefectural assembly. Before that he was running an electrical construction company.

Yoshimura became a lawyer at the age of 25 and later decided to become a politician. He was elected a member of the Osaka city assembly four years ago and won a seat in the lower house of parliament last year.

Yoshimura and Matsui are both Osaka natives.




Sarah is a 20-year-old social work student with a radical feminist Tumblr blog — adorned by a rainbow-colored Wicca pentagram — who hates men almost as much as she hates God:

Overzealous atheists are 9 times out of 10 annoying racist misogynistic dudebros but in my opinion it’s totally justified for same sex attracted people to hate organised religion as a tool that has been used to oppress us for centuries.
Like yes to a certain extent it’s people just using religion to justify their already existing homophobic attitudes, but to say that religion (particularly christianity) doesn’t perpetuate homophobia is just a denial of reality for the sake of not stepping on any toes. F–k anyone’s Sky Daddy who apparently dictates who is and isn’t worthy of dignity and humanity.

That rant caused another Tumblr user to remark that “you really hate non-religious men,” and Sarah further amplified:


Actually I think a very large number of men are already misogynistic and racist and anti-theism is something that attracts men who are already predisposed to those traits because it gives them a sense of power and righteousness as well as a persecution narrative. (Think Richard Dawkins and The Amazing Atheist.)
But you’re absolutely right, the intro wasn’t the point of the post so I’m not sure why you’re ignoring everything else I’m saying in order to focus on how I’m such a big mean man hater.
I find it interesting that all it takes is for me to mention misogyny and I get accused of man hating. You’re reaching buddy.

Sarah’s blog was previously called “lesbolution,” and before that it was“grrrlfever,” but now it’s “frequentlypolitical.” These name changes, we may suppose, indicate the ideological shifts resulting from her increased feminist consciousness. “The personal is political,” as Carol Hanisch said, and studying the Tumblr blogs of young feminists offers a glimpse into the process by which their personal problems affect their radical politics and vice-versa. Sarah’s discourse suggests certain questions:

  1. Is Sarah correct that men like Richard Dawkins embrace atheism because it justifies their own prejudices?
  2. If the need for “a sense of power and righteousness as well as a persecution narrative” inspires men to become atheists, doesn’t a similar need inspire women to become feminists?
  3. Why would a lesbian feminist object to being called a “big mean man hater”? Isn’t feminist ideology merely an elaborate rationalization of such hatred? Indeed, didn’t Carol Hanisch coin the phrase “the personal is political” to justify the agenda of a movement based on mobilizing women’s anti-male rage?

No one at Sarah’s university would ever ask such questions. Academia today is off limits to Christians, who are quite nearly banned from employment in the faculty. The Christian student in the 21st-century university never encounters a professor who shares his faith, for the same reason he never hears a professor speak a word in favor of capitalism, patriotism or heterosexuality. Perhaps not every member of the faculty is a Marxist lesbian, but if any university employee dared suggest that there is anything wrong with being a Marxist lesbian, angry mobs of student protesters would demand that this employee — whether a tenured professor or a janitor — immediately be fired. Academia is now a Temple of the Cult of Social Justice, the major idols of which are Equality, Science and Progress, and whose Sacred Rites of Devotion are sodomy, abortion and treason (not necessarily in that order).

Academia long ago chose sides in the Culture War, and our universities are now actively engaged in the systematic destruction of Western civilization. Bill Buckley tried to warn us with God and Man at Yale, but few heeded the voice of the prophet crying in the wilderness, and the intellectual apostasy has overtaken us. Behold! Now we have“Christian” bloggers on Tumblr who insist that God should bless their lesbian weddings. This blasphemy involves a diabolical phenomenon known as “Side A theology,” a heresy whose original author goes by various names, among them Beelzebub and Mephistopheles.

Well, neither the atheist misogynist dudebros nor Sarah the radical lesbian feminist believe in all that Bible stuff, but they all believe in Progress and at the rate we are progressing now, I think we shall soon reach our destination, at the end of a certain well-known highway that is proverbially paved with good intentions.



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