Hong Kong will offer a series of one-off economic relief measures, including tax cuts and subsidies, to its residents, Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced in his latest budget on Wednesday.
The financial secretary said that the measures were to “provide support for members of the public who have been affected by the epidemic.”
The five measures will cost the government at least HK$30.2 billion.
- Salaries tax and tax under personal assessment cut by 100 per cent, capped at HK$10,000.
- Rates concession for domestic properties for a year, capped at HK$1,500 for the first two quarters and HK$1,000 in the remaining two.
- HK$1,000 subsidy for eligible residential electricity accounts.
- Social security recipients will receive an allowance equal to 0.5 months of the standard rate for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance, Working Family Allowance, and Disability Allowance.
- School candidates sitting for the 2023 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination will have their examination fees waived.
The government will also lower the threshold for the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme from HK$400 to HK$200, and suggested providing tax reductions for non-property owners renting private properties, capped at HK$100,000.
The 100% Personal Loan Guarantee Scheme will also be extended for a year, and the maximum loan amount and the ceiling will be increased from six times to nine times the applicant’s monthly income, capped at HK$100,000. The maximum repayment period will also be extended from six years to 10 years.
Chan also announced that the government will distribute consumption vouchers totalling HK$10,000 to all its residents aged 18 or above in two instalments.
HKFP’s coverage in full:
- HK$10,000 consumption vouchers for all.
- Gov’t pledges over HK$54b to fight Covid-19 ‘on all fronts and at full speed’.
- One-off tax cuts, property rate concessions, electricity subsidies for residents.
- Economic rebound surpassed global growth last year, but will worsen under Covid.
- HK100 billion earmarked for Northern Metropolis plan.
- Landlords will be barred from terminating the tenancies of some small firms.
- Police vehicle and gear budget to quadruple to HK$508 million.
- Prisons to spend over HK$677,000 per detainee next year with 10% budget boost.
Correction 24.02.2022: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that social security recipients would receive an allowance equal to 1.5 months of the standard rate. We regret this error.
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