As Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivered his 2020/21 budget he also reported the first budget deficit in 15 years of HK$139.1 billion.
Mr Chan announced an attention grabbing relief payment of HK$10,000 for each of the city's adult permanent residents a move that will cost HK$71 billion and benefitting about 7 million people.
"The objective is supporting enterprises, safeguarding jobs, stimulating the economy and relieving people's burden," said Mr Chan.
Individual taxpayers were also offered HK$32.1 billion in property rates and tax concessions in addition to salaries tax for 2019/20 being waived for approximately 1.95 million earners.
For businesses low-interest loans of up to HK$2 million, repayable over three years, were included in a HK$20 billion initiative to boost enterprise. It was also announced there will be a waiving of profit tax for 2019/20, subject to a ceiling of HK$20,000, which will benefit 141,000 taxpayers.
A HK$3.2 billion waiver scheme for rates on commercial properties has been announced as well as subsidies for businesses to pay electricity bills, water and sewage charges. New relief measures waiving the business registration fees for 2020-21, which will benefit 1.5 million businesses, and waiving the registration fees for all annual returns (except for late delivery) charged by the Companies Registry for two years, benefitting about 1.4 million companies were also outlined in the budget address.
Mr Chan earmarked HK$3 billion to take forward phase two of the Science Park Expansion Programme and outlined a HK$345 million injection for a pilot scheme to encourage the logistics industry to enhance productivity through using technology. HK$1 billion was allocated to support businesses to conduct research and application on vehicle-related information technology.
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