The Hong Kong Budget Report 2009-2010 (Hong Kong Government)

Countering Financial Crisis

Making Good Use of Fiscal Reserves

 

+For 2008, GDP grew by 2.5%, lower than the trend growth rate over the past 10 years.  Hong Kong export growth recorded an increase of only 2.0%, local private consumption expenditure grew only by 1.8%. Inflation was kept at 4.3%.

+A deficit of $4.9 billion in the Consolidated Account for 2008-09 is forecast.

+As a result of the financial crisis, a decrease in GDP by 2-3% is forecast for 2009. +Unemployment rate will increase and inflation rate will ease to 1.6% in 2009.

+The Government will adopt counter-cyclical strategies to boost the economy. There will be a deficit of $39.9 billion in the Consolidated Account for 2009-10.

Consolidating Fundamentals

Embracing Challenges  

The Government will introduce a series of measures to help the people overcome the challenges posed by the financial crisis.

 

+Introduce a number of measures to preserve employment for the short term.

+Promote a more sustainable economic development by strengthening the fundamentals and developing new economic initiatives in the longer run.

+To develop a caring community and provide assistance to the disadvantaged.

  

 

Preserving Jobs  

We will make a provision of $1.6 billion to create 62 000 jobs and internship opportunities in the next three years. The measures include :

 

+To earmark $400 million non-recurrent funding to enhance a series of employment programmes, and to provide $13 million additional funding for the Labour Department to provide employment assistance to employees affected by company closures.

+To earmark $140 million to launch an “Internship Programme for University Graduates”.

+To earmark $700 million for the “Operation Building Bright” campaign to help maintain 1 000 dilapidated buildings.

+To earmark $100 million to assist organisers to host more events to attract tourists.

+To allocate $78 million for organising activities relating to the 2009 East Asian Games and the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

+To earmark $63 million to conduct an education programme for Internet users.

+To allocate an additional $130 million to enhance energy efficiency in government buildings and public facilities.

Promoting Sustainable Economic Development  

Enhancing Pillar Industries

Developing New Economic Initiatives

+To enhance Hong Kong/Guangdong/Taiwan/Macao co-operation.

+To optimise the supervisory framework to enhance investor protection.

+To develop co-operation with emerging markets.

+To promote bond market development by implementing a programme to issue government bonds.

+To promote Hong Kong as an Asian wine and gourmet centre.

+To promote conventions, exhibitions and tourism industries.

+To commence the construction work of the Kai Tak cruise terminal.

+To promote technology-based economy and explore the feasibility of the development of Hong Kong Science Park Phase 3.

+To earmark $300 million to support creative industries.

+To promote green economy.

+To promote the use of electric vehicles and extend the exemption of electric vehicles from First Registration Tax.

+To enhance energy efficiency in buildings.

Developing Human Capital

+To earmark $7.5 billion to help implement the “334” new senior secondary academic structure.

+To provide additional funding of $21 million every year to promote national education.

Implementing Development Projects

Investing in the Future

+Capital works expenditure for 2009-10 will be $39.3 billion.

+To speed up the implementation of the ten major infrastructure projects.

+To set up a Development Opportunities Office to co-ordinate development projects.

Building a Caring Community  

+To increase the recurrent subvention for the Hospital Authority by $870 million a year over the next three years.

+To earmark $840 million to strengthen medical services.

+To provide additional recurrent funding of $37 million to residential care homes for the elderly.

+To increase recurrent funding by $55 million to provide a total of 650 additional subsidised residential care places.

+To allocate $20 million in the coming three years to expand the Capacity Building Mileage Programme so as to encourage more women to pursue continuous learning and self-development.

+To earmark additional funding for the “Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme”.

+To build a greener city.

+To provide additional funding to promote sports, culture and art.

+To increase tobacco duty for public health.

+To extend the Neighbourhood Support Child Care Project to help more families.

+To strengthen the “Neighbourhood Active Ageing Project” and to establish an Elder Academy Development Fund.

+To set up a dedicated website for the elderly.

+To provide $19 million to enhance the care for persons with disabilities and provide the necessary training, including the provision of 156 additional residential places, 30 additional day training or vocational rehabilitation service places and 54 additional pre-school rehabilitation service places.

+To provide additional funding of $7.7 million for acquisition and replacement of Rehabuses.

+To provide additional recurrent funding of $25 million to strengthen support to victims of domestic violence.

+To introduce new legislation on mandatory building and window inspection, and implement a new minor works control system to facilitate building maintenance.

  

 Alleviation People’s Hardship  

+To offer a one-off tax reduction of 50% of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2008-09, subject to a ceiling of $6,000. This will cost the Government $4.1 billion.

+To waive rates for the first two quarters of 2009-10, subject to a ceiling of $1,500 per quarter for each rateable tenement. This will cost the Government $4.2 billion.

+To provide a 20% rental reduction for most government properties and short term tenancies of government land for three months. This will cost the Government $83 million.

+To extend the freeze on government fees and charges related to people’s livelihood till 31 March 2010.

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