Hong Kong financial secretary, Paul Chan, unveiled the city’s 2021-22 budget today with measures to strengthen Hong Kong’s economy and alleviate financial burden for those struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic.
As part of the proposed measures, all Hong Kong permanent residents and new arrivals aged 18 or above will be eligible to receive $5,000 in electronic consumption vouchers – to be issued in instalments – in efforts to encourage and boost local consumption. The measure will involve a financial commitment of $36 billion, benefiting around 7.2 million people.
"This year's Budget focuses on stabilising the economy and relieving people's burden," Mr Chan said. "It aims to alleviate the hardship and pressure caused by the economic downturn and the epidemic through the introduction of counter-cyclical measures costing over $120 billion, and seeks to create a leverage effect to benefit our people, workers, as well as enterprises."
Aside from the $5,000 rollout, Chan also detailed sector-specific schemes to further assist the financial services, innovation and technology, and the tourism sector, along with a package of business relief measures that costs $9.5 million.
Furthermore, with the aim to ease up traffic congestion, the tax band rate for the first registration tax for private cars will be increased by 15 percent, while vehicle licence fees will be increased by 30 percent. There will also be an allocation of $500 million towards improving country park facilities, and a $300 million budget to upgrade over 70 football pitches and increase the number of five-a-side football pitches over the course of five years. More information on such initiatives can be found here.
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