Recent New Government Policy
THE HONG KONG 2023-24 BUDGET
A sustainable, balanced budget would help Hong Kong's post-pandemic economy embark to a new journey.
The Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Paul Chan Mo-po, delivered the 2023-24 Budget speech today. This is the first budget he has prepared for the current-term government led by John Lee Ka-chiu, HKSAR Chief Executive.
For the 2022-23 financial year (FY2022-23), the Financial Secretary announced the second-highest fiscal deficit in Hong Kong's history of HKD139.8 billion, behind only the HKD232.5 billion deficit in FY2020-21. The deficit for FY2022-23, down from a surplus of HKD29.4 billion for FY2021-22, is mainly due to softer stock and property markets, reduced revenue from tax and land premiums, and increased expenditure on anti-epidemic efforts and relief measures. This will lead to a sharp drop in fiscal reserves to HKD817.3 billion as of 31 March 2023.
Given Hong Kong's post-pandemic economic recovery remains nascent, the Government tightened relief measures from previous years' levels to balance the need to sustain the public finances and support economic recovery. The Budget also prepares for a speedy recovery, high quality development, alignment with National Development Strategies, and governing for the people.
Attracting Tourists and Enlivening The City’s Image
Over $250million to be spent on mega events
About $300million reserved for staging more mega events, international meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions in Hong Kong
Offer shopping and dining privileges to 1million inbound visitors
$50million for stepping up the promotion and branding of Hong Kong
Electronic Consumption Vouchers
Issue $5,000 electronic consumption vouchers to each eligible Hong Kong permanent resident and new arrival aged 18 or above in two installments.
Previously registered eligible persons: $3,000 consumption vouchers will be disbursed in April, remaining $2,000 vouchers will be disbursed in mid-year.
New eligible persons: vouchers will be disbursed in mid-year in two installments upon registration.
Eligible persons who have come to live in Hong Kong through different admission schemes or to study in Hong Kong: $2,500 vouchers will be disbursed.
Reduce profits tax for the assessment year 2022/23 by 100%, subject to a $6,000 ceiling
Provide rates concession for non-domestic properties for the first two quarters of 2023/24, subject to a ceiling of $1,000 per quarter
Grant 50% rental fee concession to eligible tenants of government premises and short-term tenancies and waivers for 6 months
Extend the application period of all guarantee products under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme to March 2024
Offer fully guaranteed loans for eligible passenger transport operators and licensed travel agents. To be launched in April this year
Extend the Travel Agents Incentive Scheme to June 2023
Inject $30 million into the Information Technology Development Matching Fund Scheme for Travel Agents to encourage the tourism sector to undergo upgrade and transformation
Supporting the General Public
Reduce salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the 2022/23 assessment year by 100%, subject to a $6,000 ceiling
Provide rates concession for domestic properties for the first two quarters of 2023/24, subject to a $1,000 ceiling per quarter
Provide an extra half-month allowance of standard CSSA payments, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance or Disability Allowance. Similar arrangements will apply to Working Family Allowance
Extend the temporary special measures of the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme for six months (to October 2023)
Pay examination fees for school candidates sitting for the 2024 HKDSE Examination
Grant each eligible residential electricity account a subsidy of $1,000
Extend the current arrangement of distributing electricity charges relief of $50 a month to each account to end 2025
From the 2023/24 assessment year, increase the basic child allowance and the additional child allowance for each child born during the year of assessment from $120,000 to $130,000
Attracting Enterprises and Talents
Introduce a mechanism to provide facilitation for companies domiciled overseas for re-domiciliation to Hong Kong
Introduce a new Capital Investment Entrant Scheme: applicants may reside and pursue development in Hong Kong after making an investment at a certain amount in the local asset market, excluding property