Budget 2022: Hong Kong budget aims to tighten financial and economic ties with mainland China
- The Young Reporter
- By: Ziyu Bruce Zhao、Kate ZhangEdited by: Summer Li
Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po addressed the HK$170 billion budget for the city in today's speech, with considerable mentions on integrating Hong Kong’s economy into the mainland China market and national-level development. Strengthening Hong Kong as a financial centre to integrate with mainland development Hong Kong will enhance its status as an international financial centre in line with the 14th Five‑Year Plan by strengthening its status as an offshore renminbi hub and asset management centre, the Financial Secretary said in his budget speech today. “In the future, we will explore ways to further expand the channels for the two-way flow of cross- boundary RMB funds, as well as continue to promote the development of offshore RMB products, including introducing more diversified RMB wealth management products and bonds,” Financial Secretary, Paul Chan said . The city launched the Southbound Trading of Bond Connect and the Cross‑boundary Wealth Management Connect Scheme in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in September last year, which allows individual investors in the mainland to invest in offshore bonds through the Hong Kong bond market according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Chan said the government is exploring more enhancement measures for these investment initiatives, including expanding quotas and scope of eligible investment products, inviting more companies to participate, and improving distribution. The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited will study and implement a pilot plan for infrastructure financing securitization within the year. According to the plan, the corporation is expected to issue infrastructure financing securitization products worth about HK$ 35.1 trillion (US$450 million) in the institutional market next year. “On the one hand, the local infrastructure financing market will be more vigorous and diversified, and at the same time, market capital will be introduced into high-quality infrastructure projects,” Chan said. Chan also proposed to set up …
Budget 2022: How do Singapore and Hong Kong’s pandemic relief measures for the hardest hit compare?
- The Young Reporter
- By: Nick YangEdited by: Kate Zhang
Singapore and Hong Kong, two small and open Asian economies that are often compared, have adopted completely different COVID-19 policies. Singapore has moved to "living with COVID-19" while Hong Kong sticks to China’s "dynamic zero COVID" strategy. But the effects of the pandemic have not been equal, and both cities have implemented financial relief for the hardest hit. With the Hong Kong government announcing its 2022-23 budget today and the Singapore government delivering its 2022 Budget Plan last Friday, The Young Reporter explains five ways both Singapore and Hong Kong have attempted to alleviate COVID-19’s impact on its neediest residents. 1. Tax Relief Tax redistribution is a way to cope with inequality in many countries, according to the United Nations, as poor households are often affected more. Singapore: Consumption taxes tend to be regressive, meaning they are disproportionately difficult on low earners, economists say. The Singapore government suspended its plan to raise the goods and services tax from 7% to 9% in 2021, a broad-based consumption tax on nearly all supplies of goods and services in Singapore. It is expected to be raised in 2023. This year, a S$560 million ( HK$3.25 billion) Household Support Package, which provides support for daily essentials through utilities rebates, top-ups for children’s education and vouchers for use at heartland shops, will be provided to support households, especially poor families, in dealing with a future hike in the GST. The Singapore government also provided tax relief for the self-employed and low-income workers with pandemic-driven support schemes, including the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme and Workfare Special Payment. Hong Kong: The government has waived a portion of employment taxes for three years, including salaries tax and tax under personal assessment reduction, with a ceiling of HK$10,000 this year and last year, and HK$20,000 in 2020. For …