Measures to aid enterprises
Financial Secretary Mr. Paul Chan announced a series of measures to support enterprises and safeguard jobs on 15 August 2019, aiming to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
A total of 27 groups of government fees will be waived for 12 months to benefit a wide range of sectors and that rent for most government land short-term tenancies will be cut 50% for six months.
The Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading & Domestic Sales and the SME Export Marketing Fund will each receive a $1 billion injection to support enterprises in exploring business opportunities.
The Mortgage Corporation Insurance Limited will also introduce a new loan guarantee product under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme. The Government will provide for approved loans a 90% guarantee to help individuals looking to set up new businesses.
On training workers, the Employees Retraining Board will devise specific programmes to help jobless and under-employed workers to upgrade their skills and increase competitiveness.
New relief measures set
The following measures are announced to relieve people’s financial burden.
Further to the proposal in the 2019-20 Budget to reduce salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profits tax for 2018-19 by 75%, the reduction will go up to 100% while retaining the cap of $20,000.
Another measure will see a $2,500 per head subsidy provided to kindergarten, primary and secondary day school students in the 2019-20 school year to ease parents’ financial burden. This will benefit over 900,000 students.
Households will get a one-off electricity charge subsidy of $2,000 and that the Government will pay one month’s rent for lower-income tenants living in the Housing Authority and Housing Society’s public rental units.
Recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance or Disability Allowance will also receive one-month’s extra allowance.
The Government will put the subsidiary legislation to the Legislative Council in October.