Finance chief: Over 80% of Hong Kong's 2023-2024 budget to benefit public and SMEs
Urban architecture at dusk in Hong Kong, China. /CFP
Urban architecture at dusk in Hong Kong, China. /CFP

Urban architecture at dusk in Hong Kong, China. /CFP

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will take a "moderately liberal" fiscal stance in the new financial year, allocating over 80 percent of resources to benefit the general public and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"Overall, we will take a 'moderately liberal' fiscal stance this year," said Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government on Wednesday while delivering the 2023-2024 budget. "Hence, this is still a deficit budget."

The financial chief was delivering the first budget for the current-term government as well as the first since the region's emergence from the pandemic and resumption of quarantine-free travel.

Chan said the government prioritizes helping the general public and SMEs more over balancing the budget, and will push out support measures such as subsidies for low-income families, increased funding for education and healthcare, and tax breaks for SMEs.

The HKSAR government also announced another round of consumer vouchers, a move authorities have turned to in the past two years, with HK$5,000 each being allocated for eligible permanent residents and new arrivals.

According to Chan, the HKSAR's economy is at the early recovery stage, and members of the public as well as a large number of enterprises are still weighed down by tremendous pressure and require support.

"We will support people in need to the best of our ability, and sustain the impetus to economic recovery in moving towards high-quality development," said Chan.

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