Business

Summarizing the 2016-17 Budget : what has the Government announced?

 

Today's budget discloses a 6.7% increase in expenditure to $347.5 billion from $324.6 billion last year.

 

This year, tax allowances rewards focus  on those taking care of the elderly people, with increases allowances for a dependent parent or grandparent aged 55 or above. Whereas in 2015-2016, tax allowances are mainly targeting population with children, raising child allowances only.

 

Moreover, basic, single parent and married person's allowance are increased, benefitting wider range of Hong Kong people.

 

The government has 75 per cent reduce salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profit tax in a same extent as 2015-2016. They also lower the waive rates' ceiling from $2500 for two quarters last year to $1000 for four quarters this year.

 

Tourism, hospitality and retail industries and other enterprises also take advantages from waived licence fees, business registration fees, technology vouchers and more subsidies.

 

In sum, the tax and short-term relief measures cost $38.8 billion compared to $34 billion last year, which further reduces the government revenue reduction.

 

The government plans to play a key role under the "new economic order". They take action to nurture innovation in applying R&D results, startups, Fintech and creative industries, and find new markets in Belt and Road Initiative, trade and logistics and financial services.

 

Fostering talent is also vital to Hong Kong by gaining internship and exchange chances for students and professional training.

 

Compared to last year, the budget promoted diversified development in nurturing startup ecosystem, boosting creative industries and promoting social enterprises, and improving the quality of manpower. It focused on opportunities created by "One Belt One Road".

 

Based on the latest projection, government has adopted the public housing supply target of 280 thousand units for the ten-year period from 2016-17 to 2025-26. Livelihood related expenditure continues to increase, 67% increasing in education,106% increasing in social welfare and 90% increasing in health services.

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