Hong Kong Budget 2015-2016i

Finance Secretary John Tsang unveils his keenly-awaited budget for 2015, with a raft of sweeteners expected to put cash into Hongkongers' pockets in an effort to boost consumption.


What should we make of the government-proposed future fund? Well, it depends on whether you think we should invest for the future or save for the future.

I fell asleep watching the Hollywood movie Chef on HBO. But then, that says nothing about its quality, as I am no middle-class film buff like John Tsang Chun-wah.

Did the Occupy protests harm Hong Kong's international image? In official circles, that is taken as an established fact. So John Tsang Chun-wah waxed indignant about the protest movement at the start of his budget speech.

Hong Kong’s economy would have its share of “rainy days” over the next financial year, the city’s finance chief said, after comments by the US Fed cooled expectations of an early hike in interest rates.

In handling this year's budget, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah succeeded in lowering and then surpassing all expectations by handing out "sweeteners" amounting to almost 60 per cent of the forecast surplus for the financial year 2014-15. 


Hong Kong will receive an estimated HK$45 billion of investment income this year - enough to cover 10 per cent of total government expenditure and the most since a record high in 2008, Financial Secretary John Tsang revealed.

Hong Kong parents instil in their children from an early age the virtues of home ownership. A flat, while providing a place to live, is also a sound investment, their logic goes.

The "future fund" should be locked up as an investment for at least 10 years and withdrawn only when the fiscal reserves drop to a level equivalent to six months of gross government expenditure.

Before tying the knot in 2013, Wong Man-lok had a plan to cut spending to save enough to buy a small property within two years. Now his dream is in tatters.

The government should consider investing in unconventional and less-liquid assets as part of its strategy so its new future fund can enjoy better returns, fund managers have recommended.

Among the numbers and spending programmes of many Hong Kong budgets over the past decade and a half has been mention of a need to broaden the government's revenue base, perhaps through a goods and services tax.

Pity Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, who must be one of the most "jinxed" financial officials in the world. Since he took over the position in 2007, he has been chalking up a fiscal surplus, even when the economy faced the toughest conditions.

As the ink dries on Hong Kong's giveaway budget chock-a-block with sweeteners aimed at defusing political strife, people are weighing up what they are getting - or not getting.

Norman Chan Tak-Lam today announced measures to cool Hong Kong's property market after the city's house prices had reached what he called an historical high.

The national “one-belt-one-road” export policy will offer opportunities for Hong Kong manufacturers in the Pearl River Delta and the city’s financial services sector, industry insiders said.

Middle-income families stand to benefit most from the rise in child tax allowance and the rebate on salaries tax announced in the budget - while low-income families gain nothing at all.

Risks to Hong Kong's long-term economic prospects and competitiveness are ballooning and prompt measures are needed, experts have warned.

The government's more generous than expected budget sweeteners have cheered the middle class, the poor, small businesses and even property developers.

Faced with widening income disparities and fast ageing populations, the governments of Hong Kong and Singapore this week adopted two different approaches to solve the problems as they revealed their fiscal plans for the coming year.

The South China Morning Post, in collaboration with Code4HK, has devised a simple to use calculator that allows you to see how the budget affects you.

Hong Kong should promote itself more in India and Southeast Asia, a tourism veteran suggested, as the city's financial chief pledged HK$80 million for tourism promotions after Occupy protests.

Pan-democrat lawmakers today urged Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah to dip into the city’s HK$63.8 billion budget surplus to invest in the future.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah’s plan to introduce food trucks to Hong Kong was unappetising, hawkers said, after the idea was wheeled out in the budget speech yesterday.

Health and social welfare get some of the biggest increases in spending this year under the budget plans, with education and the environment also benefiting.