Hong Kong Budget 2013
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah delivered his sixth budget speech on February 27, 2013, in which he unveiled HK$33 billion worth of relief measures and forecasted a surplus of about HK$64.9 billion for the 2012-13 financial year. Economic growth was expected to come in 1.5 to 3.5 per cent in 2013.
People's views on the budget
Jackson Leung Ping-wah, 60, retired financial sector worker, Sham Shui Po: The report is similar to last year's. What more can you expect the government to do? Waiving rates and the electricity subsidy do help a bit. We need a universal retirement protection scheme, but it's too big a burden for the government at the moment.
Anson Pun Sheung-wai, 17, Form Six pupil, Wan Chai: Expenditure on education should be used to help poor students. I hope the government will create more university places. The financial giveaway was both good and bad as it leads to people spending more but also causes prices to rise.
Ma Yok-hang, 73, retired teacher, Sham Shui Po: The government has not given enough help to elderly people. The increase in elderly care home places this time is not enough, especially with an ageing population. It's good that there is no cash giveaway this time. People who have not worked in Hong Kong and have not paid any tax should not be given such benefits.
Edward Cheung King-tat, 37, insurance sector worker, Wan Chai: This report has no surprises, but it helps poor people. The middle class don't need help. Directly giving money to the poor may not be such a good idea. Sometimes they do not use it wisely.
Ho Chi, 76, retired driver, Sham Shui Po: The extra Comprehensive Social Security Assistance allowance helps me. We poor workers hope for a universal retirement protection scheme, but the government doesn't listen to us. Building more public housing is good. Though I have no children, my brothers have children and they will need their own homes soon.
Ming Lee, 40s, real-estate company worker, Wan Chai: The report is good in general but there is nothing special in it. The measures help us lower-middle-class people. With such a big surplus, the government should have used it on addressing housing needs.
Wong Chun-leung, 70, retired wholesaler, Wan Chai: The measures to improve medical facilities are good. I am seeing public hospital doctors for my diabetes and blood-pressure problems. I don't support money giveaways as people will rely on it if they think they'll get it every year.
Emily Yeung Lai-man, 27, housewife with two-month-old baby, Sham Shui Po: Increasing child allowance is good, but only taxpayers benefit. I'd rather the government used it directly on improving kindergarten and child care services. We have been waiting for a public housing flat for around four years now. I hope the upcoming public housing flats will shorten the wait.
Cao Nai, 32, housewife with two children, aged seven and five, Sham Shui Po: The benefits are small and most of them do not help me. We low-income people do not pay tax. I wish there was a subsidy for we who rent private housing.
Stanley Lo Chun-ho, 32, IT worker, Wan Chai: Measures like tax reductions and subsidies are better than nothing. The money giveaway was good, but if the government would use it on helping people in need, that would be even better.