Budget: finance chief told to keep it sweet

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 4:33am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 February, 2014, 4:45pm

The financial chief should keep tax reductions and one-off relief measures in his budget, three pro-government district councillors said yesterday.

Their call came a day after Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said one-off "sweeteners" would "soon become history" as the economy improved.

One of the three from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Kwun Tong district councillor Kin Hung Kam-in, urged Tsang "to take the social atmosphere into account" and warned the move would "affect the government's satisfaction rating".

The DAB proposed raising the salary tax basic allowance and child allowance to HK$130,000 and HK$80,000, waiving rates for the coming fiscal year and keeping the annual electricity subsidy for households.

Sham Shui Po district councillor Vincent Cheng Wing-shun denied such measures benefited the rich. "[The measures] can be more focused, to help especially the middle class in need … [rather] than neglecting them."

Hung's district council colleague Frankie Ngan Man-yu suggested raising tax bands to boost middle-class families' disposable income.