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Relief Measures announced by the Government
Date: 26 Aug 2019

Relief Measures announced by the Government

To counter the challenging external and local economic environment, the Financial Secretary announced a raft of relief measures on 15 August 2019 to support enterprises (especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and relieve people’s financial burden.

Support enterprises and safeguard jobs
  • Waive 27 types of government fees and charges for 12 months to benefit a wide range of sectors from maritime, logistics, retail, catering, tourism, construction, to agriculture and fisheries.
  • Reduce the rent for most short-term tenancies of government land for community and business by 50% for six months.
  • Implement a fee review moratorium on government fees and charges set on a cost recovery basis with immediate effect until 31 December 2020
  • Additional injections to the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) and the SME Export Marketing Fund to better support enterprises in exploring business opportunities, promoting sales and participating in business missions organized by the Government and related organizations for market development.
  • The HKMC Insurance Limited to introduce a new loan guarantee product under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGS), under which the Government will provide for a 90% guarantee for approved loans to help individuals looking to set up new businesses, businesses with relatively less operating experience, as well as professionals seeking to set up their own practices, to obtain financing. It will also extend the application period of the special concessionary measures under SFGS (i.e. Government to provide for an 80% guarantee for approved loans) and the validity period of the three enhancement measures introduced last year to 30 June 2022.
  • Explore room for increasing or expediting minor works projects both to meet public needs and to create more employment opportunities for the construction sector.
  • The Employees Retraining Board will plan for specific training programmes to assist unemployed/under-employed workers in trades suffering from the downturn to upgrade their skills to increase their competitiveness and provide special allowance.

Relieve people's burden
  • Further to the proposal in the 2019/20 budget to reduce salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profits tax for the year of assessment 2018/19 by 75% subject to a ceiling of HK$20,000, to increase the reductions to 100%. However, the maximum limit of HK$20,000 remains unchanged
  • Provide one additional month of various social security payments
  • Provide a subsidy to kindergarten, primary and secondary day-school students in Hong Kong at HK$2,500 per head in the 2019/20 school year
  • Pay one month's rent for lower income tenants living in the public rental units
  • Provide a one-off electricity charge subsidy of HK$2,000 to each residential electricity account

If you need more information in relation to this, please contact Ms. Amie Cheung at amie.cheung@lccpa.com.hk