Public Finance

Housing subsidy for N-nothings

Up to 12,000 residents who slip through the city's safety net of welfare and relief measures will get a one-off housing subsidy in a HK$60 million giveaway from the Community Care Fund, Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Siu-lung said.

Friday, 16 March, 2012, 12:00am

Tax cut bandwagon is rolled out again but makes no headway

Confucius has many disciples indeed. He would be happy if he were brought back to life at the annual National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing. No longer content to serve as a mere rubber-stamp body, many lawmakers at the current session have complained, as reported by the mainland press, about the heavy tax burden on the people.

11 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Higher home sales in view as tax falls

A breakthrough in secondary-market home sales as the year progresses has been predicted by analysts and agents as the initial impact of the government's special stamp duty wears off, allowing the market to conclude deals faster and also releasing pent-up demand from genuine buyers.

7 May 2015 - 12:48pm

Local governments to form funds to repay loans

Beijing has ordered heavily indebted local governments to set up special funds to help repay loans, in a bid to avoid a Chinese version of the sovereign debt crisis that has sunk several European economies.

Finance Minister Xie Xuren said the government would also focus on improving its tax system and on lowering structural taxes as part of its fiscal policy this year.

7 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Society wants curb on excessive banquet spending

The Jiu San Society, one of the mainland's eight non-communist parties, will submit a proposal at this year's annual meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference calling for curbs on government spending on banquets, cars and travel.

3 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Rise of the pain pushers

As the pungent aroma of tear gas swirled around the Greek parliament, the government finally managed to push through a string of austerity measures demanded by its creditors. No one questions the amount of serious pain these measures will inflict, but will there really be any gain?

20 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

More families to qualify for transport subsidy scheme

More low-income families may benefit from government transport subsidies thanks to changes to the eligibility limits for applicants.

From next month, the income and asset limits of families will be increased by up to 15 per cent and up to 60 per cent respectively to make more households eligible.

17 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

For Europe, Chinese help will come at a heavy price

European investors - and politicians - heaved a collective sigh of relief this week after the Chinese premier and central bank governor both pledged to support the continent in its debt crisis.

On Tuesday, Premier Wen Jiabao declared that 'China is ready to get more deeply involved in participating in solving the European debt issue'.

16 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

A nation on suicide watch

Recent economic numbers from Japan have provided some scary background about why Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is determined to follow the urgings of the International Monetary Fund and raise the country's consumption tax from 5 per cent.

14 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Bittersweet budget

In his last budget speech as financial secretary in the current administration, John Tsang Chun-wah reflected on the necessity for fiscal discipline. He attributed the sovereign debt crises in some advanced economies to their lax fiscal discipline, and was determined to ensure the structural integrity of public finances in Hong Kong and keep adequate fiscal reserves for future challenges.

14 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

The people our budgets forget

More of the same' does not begin to describe the ultraconservative nature of the financial secretary's budget for 2012-13, even allowing for its 'caretaker' nature as the last budget of the current administration.

12 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Prudent Hong Kong has earned the right to vote

It is intriguing to think that what our legislators will do over the next few weeks is derived directly from an event that took place nearly 800 years ago on the banks of the River Thames in England.

6 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Who wants a broader base?

The HK$80 billion of largesse announced by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah in what was seen as his swansong budget on Wednesday, has triggered a fresh debate about whether Hong Kong needs to broaden its tax base.

3 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Vanquish the blues with hard work and optimism

After graduation, Veronica Lee Wing-men (left) joined Ernst & Young as a staff accountant in the audit department. Through the firm's rotation programme, Lee had a chance to move to the tax department, where she excelled and was promoted to manager of tax and business advisory services. She talks to Wong Yat-hei

What's your academic background?

3 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

SMEs welcome help but could do with more

There were surprises and disappointments in the budget for entrepreneur Ting Wing-fai. He thinks the financial secretary should have offered more support to small and medium-sized enterprises to face the challenging economic situation ahead.

2 Feb 2012 - 12:00am