The Financial Secretary of HKSAR announces measures to support enterprises and residents
On 15 August 2019, the Financial Secretary of HKSAR announced the following measures:
I. For enterprises
1. Waive 27 groups of government fees and charges for 12 months.
2. Reduce the rental for the tenancies of some of the Government Departments by 50 per cent for six months.
3. Implement a fee review moratorium on government fees and charges set on a cost recovery basis with immediate effect until 31 December 2020.
4. Make further enhancements to the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) and the SME Export Marketing Fund and again provide additional injections into these Funds.
5. The HKMC Insurance Limited to introduce a new loan guarantee product under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGS), under which the Government will provide for a 90 per cent guarantee for approved loans. It will also extend the application period of the special concessionary measures under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGS) (i.e. Government to provide for an 80 per cent guarantee for approved loans) and the validity period of the three enhancement measures introduced last year to 30 June 2022.
6. Continue to explore room for increasing or expediting minor works projects. An Enhancement to the existing Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Elderly Owners, an Operation Building Bright 2.0, a Lift Modernization Subsidy Scheme, and a Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme will also be considered.
7. The Employees Retraining Board will plan for specific training programs and provide special allowance to the participants.
II. For residents
1. Further to the proposal in the 2019-20 Budget to reduce salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profits tax for the Year of Assessment 2018/19 by 75 per cent subject to a ceiling of $20,000, to increase the reductions to 100 per cent while retaining the ceiling of $20,000.
2. Provide an extra allowance to social security recipients, equal to one month of the standard rate Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) payments, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance or Disability Allowance. Similar arrangements will apply to recipients of the Working Family Allowance and individual-based Work Incentive Transport Subsidy.
3. Provide a subsidy to kindergarten, primary and secondary day-school students in Hong Kong at $2,500 per head in the 2019/20 school.
4. Pay one month’s rent for lower income tenants living in the public rental units of the Hong Kong Housing Authority and the Hong Kong Housing Society.
5. Provide a one-off electricity charge subsidy of $2,000 to each residential electricity account.
6. Invite the Community Care Fund to consider providing a one-off living subsidy for low-income households not living in public housing and not receiving CSSA (commonly known as the “N have-nots”).