Budget helps ease people’s burden

February 26, 2020

(To watch the 2020-21 Budget speech with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Presenting his Budget at the Legislative Council today, Financial Secretary Paul Chan introduced measures to ease the public’s financial burden.


Mr Chan said he will disburse $10,000 to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above. The measure, involving an expenditure of about $71 billion, is expected to benefit about seven million people.


The Government will announce the details of the scheme as soon as possible after obtaining funding approval from the Legislative Council.


He emphasised the payout is an exceptional measure taken in light of the current unique circumstances and will not be a burden on the Government’s long-term fiscal position.


With ample fiscal reserves, the Government has to stimulate the economy and ride out difficult times with the public, he added.


Mr Chan also proposed to reduce salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2019-20 by 100%, subject to a ceiling of $20,000. This will benefit 1.95 million taxpayers.


Additionally, his Budget will waive rates of residential properties for 2020-21, subject to a ceiling of $1,500 per quarter for each rateable property. An extra month’s standard rate of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payment, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance or Disability Allowance will be offered while the Government will pay one month’s rent for lower income tenants living in public rental units.


School candidates sitting for the 2021 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination will also benefit as the Government plans to pay the examination fees for them.


These measures will support enterprises, safeguard jobs, stimulate the economy and relieve people’s burden, Mr Chan added.

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