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Newly Introduced Silver Bond may Neglect Poorer Elderly Population

  • 2016-02-24

The Silver Bond may only benefit senior citizens with extra money in hand, neglecting the poorer elderly population in Hong Kong. The Silver Bond, similar to the previous inflation-linked iBond that was designated for the elderly, will be launched this year and the year after, announced the Financial Secretary Mr. Tsang Chun-wah in the Budget speech today. "The bond is attractive if I had some extra money in hand," said Mr. Chu, 75 years old. "But I only had enough to cover living expenses, how could I spend thousands to invest?" "I don't have any money to buy the bond," said Ms. Chan, 84. "Even if I do, I'd spend it on bread." Aiming to protect against inflation, A HK$10 billion iBond was issued every year since 2011 with a guaranteed return of two per cent for investors aged 65 and over. "The Silver Bond is just the performance of the government," said Mr. Chu. "It cannot protect against inflation." Interested in the Silver Bond, Mr. Lau said retirement pensions and medical service would be more important to the senior citizens. "I hope the government could cover all the elderly population with the retirement benefits, not just part of us at the moment," he said. "The old people are much easier to get sick and the medical care is costly," he added. "So the government should provide us with more support." In mid-2014, Hong Kong had 1.07 million people aged over 65 and over, accounting for about 15 per cent of the total population. https://www.facebook.com/tyrmag/videos/1116156438408885/

Business

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

  • 2016-02-24

  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 …

Business

Reserve Estimates : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The government is estimated to have $30 billion worth of surplus in this financial year.  

Business

Creative Sector : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

A total of 8.1 billion be provided to support for film, fashion and sports sectors.

Business

Housing & Land : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

28,000 public housing units and 29,000 private housing units can be provided to the housing market, according to this year's Budget.  

Business

Elderly Sector : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The Budget spends $66 billion to support the underprivileged, which will mostly be aimed at the elderly.  

Business

Tourism Sector : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The government pours a total of $380 million into the tourism sector in this year's Budget.  

Business

Research & Development : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

Hong Kong Science Park will take the lead in smart production and research with $8.2 billion from the Government.

Business

Healthcare Sector : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The healthcare sector will see an increase in hospital beds and medical facilities this year.

Business

Overview of the Budget : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The Budget this year focuses on six major fields: Education, I.T., Tourism, Land, Healthcare and Social Welfare.