In the midst of economic and social woes, Hong Kong’s government is planning on passing out more than $1,000 to adults.
The news was recently shared by Hong Kong’s financial secretary. Paul Chan stated that the government will be offering this to permanent residents over 18 years of age in Hong Kong. The cash handout is valued at HK$10,000 or USD $1,200.
The current plan will cost a total of HK$71 billion. The stunted growth of Hong Kong’s economy was the prime spark that put this plan in place. This economic problem has been going on since the latter half of 2019.
The financial secretary said that Hong Kong is currently experiencing a fiscal deficit. This deficit is the first the country has experienced in 15 years.
This was due to several world issues. First, the United States and China were embroiled in a deadlocked trade war. The trade war has only been progressing these past few months. Apart from that, the nation-wide protests and the spread of the Coronavirus also contributed.
Despite all of these events, Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves are ready and waiting. Chan is confident that the HK$1.1 trillion reserves will be enough to handle the relief measures.
He also shared the government’s expectations from these handouts. He said that they hope these handouts increase the people’s spending. With enough spending, it could serve to jumpstart Hong Kong’s economy.
The cash handouts are not the only thing the government has up its sleeve. They are also planning to introduce a 100% cut to salary taxes. This tax cut will run for the 2019-2020 year. While it is an angel cut, there is a ceiling of HK$20,000.
Approximately two million citizens will benefit from the tax cut. It will also reportedly cost HK$18.8 billion.
Cards up the Sleeve
It is clear that relief – both economically and socially – is strongly being chased after by the Hong Kong government. They also see that the people really need it. As such, they have prepared a number of other relief measures for the citizens of Hong Kong.
Certain residential properties, with a cap of up to HK$1,500, will have their rates waived per quarter. This will last from 2020 to 2021. Approximately 3 million residences will be involved and will cost nearly HK$14 billion.
Social security recipients will also have an extra month of benefits. These include old age allowance, disability allowance, and even work incentive transport subsidy among others.
For citizens with low income, they will also have one month of rent waived free. Finally, any fees for the 2021 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination will similarly be waived.
These aforementioned relief measures will cost approximately HK$20 billion.
While the previously mentioned measures will be for daily living, there are also a few set up for businesses. These include things like the reduction of profit taxes, the waving of business registration fees, and providing a low-interest loan among others.
It is clear that Hong Kong is doing all it can to weather the storm and get back on its feet. While the US-China trade wars are progressing, the protests and Coronavirus still haven’t shown even a glimpse of a light at the end of those tunnels.