Editorial : Exploiting poverty alleviation fund in the name of "plugging the gaps"

【明報專訊】THE DISAGREEMENTS over whether the government should give cash handouts to the people have not subsided despite the announcement of the budget. They are, instead, threatening to spiral out of control. In response the government has, in the name of "plugging the gaps", arbitrarily turned the Community Care Fund — supposedly a mechanism for poverty — into a vehicle for distributing sweeteners. By doing so the government has caused itself further trouble — like a man who gets his threads further entangled when he tries to separate them. The government has become led by the nose by populist politics without itself knowing it, caught up in the ugly debate over "candy-giving". However hard the government tries to "plug the gaps", it will always displease those who are not benefited. Like a hubbub of cicada noises or a bowl of simmering soup, there seems to be no foreseeable end to the cacophony of arguments.