New year to greet a new start, hope the Budget fulfill Hong Kongers’ needs
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah delivery The 2015-16 Budget which cause all Hong Konger attention. This is his eighth Budget since 2007. Throughout these eight years, Hong Kong has remained economically stable and financially healthy despite global economic turbulence and financial market volatility.
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah will announce record-high government spending of HK$440 billion and hand out more than HK$20 billion sweeteners in the budget today.
Spending is up 11 percent, while the surplus will be more than the HK$20.3 billion this year.
Recurrent expenditure will increase by about 6 percent (or HK$18 billion) in the next fiscal year beginning April 1 to more than HK$320 billion, sources said.
Funds for it will be drawn from the HK$220 billion Land Fund and also portions of future surpluses. It will be managed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
Tsang is set to announce a whopping HK$60 billion surplus for this fiscal year, more than six times his original estimate of HK$9.1 billion.
The surplus does not include the HK$27 billion housing reserve announced last December to meet the 10-year public housing supply target of 290,000 units.
The surplus is partly due to the rise in stamp duties collected from high-end property transactions.
Further measures in the budget will include a waiver on private property rates for two quarters and an extra month’s payment for people receiving the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and the disability allowances.
The salaries tax rebate will be higher than last year’s cap of HK$10,000 and the tax allowance for parents will be increased from HK$70,000 to HK$80,000 per child.
Tsang will also announce relief measures including catering, hotels, logistics, retail and transport, as part of the “sweeteners” package. These will come in the form of waiving government charges and licensing fees for hotels, restaurants and travel agents for six months. These relief measures will total about HK$180 million and further schemes will be announced today to benefit taxi, minibus and bus operators.