Hong Kong SAR government launches more than 130 billion Hong Kong dollar relief measures to support businesses and citizens

Xinhua News Agency, Hong Kong, April 8 In response to the challenges posed by the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Lin Zheng Yuee, announced on the 8th a series of measures involving more than 130 billion Hong Kong dollars to fully assist companies to continue to operate, maintain employee employment, reduce corporate and The financial burden of the citizens and the economy can recover as soon as possible after the epidemic is controlled.

Lin Zhengyue said that the measures announced on the same day were further relief measures in addition to the relief measures in the 2020-2021 "Budget" and the first phase of the "Epidemiological and Anti-epidemic Fund". She said that the epidemic caused serious disruption to a wide range of economic activities. Many enterprises faced bankruptcy or large-scale layoffs. It is necessary for the SAR government to respond decisively and quickly.

Lin Zhengyue described the measures as unprecedented, including the introduction of a HK $ 80 billion "employment protection" plan, providing qualified employers with 50% wage subsidies, and an upper limit of HK $ 9,000 per employee for a period of 6 months. It is expected that 1.5 million employees will benefit; and Use 21 billion Hong Kong dollars to provide 16 support projects to provide assistance to specific industries. In addition, the SAR government will also launch an optimized "SME Financing Guarantee Plan", assist MTR Corporation to provide 20% discount on fares, temporarily lower the subsidy threshold for the "Public Transportation Expense Subsidy Program", and provide interest-free extensions for student loan repayers Repayment period, tax deferral and other measures that benefit many companies and citizens.

According to reports, the total expenditure for the implementation of the entire set of measures is HK $ 137.5 billion, together with the HK $ 30 billion appropriation of the first round of the "Epic Epidemic and Anti-epidemic Fund" and the HK $ 120 billion involved in the "budget" relief measures. HK $ 287.5 billion, accounting for 10% of GDP.

Lin Zhengyue said that in view of the catastrophic impact of the epidemic on Hong Kong's economy, the SAR government must use Hong Kong's accumulated fiscal reserves for many years to help enterprises and citizens. Hong Kong's solid foundation, coupled with the strong resistance of the public, is confident that it can overcome the difficulties, and Hong Kong will be able to start again.

Lin Zhengyue also announced that the Chief Executive, the main officials of the SAR Government and the Chief Executive ’s Office will reduce their salaries by 10% in the next 12 months in order to express their willingness to work together with the public.

A non-official member of the Executive Council of the SAR Government issued a statement that evening, expressing support for the SAR Government ’s bold and prompt proposal of multiple measures to resolutely respond to the challenges posed by the epidemic to Hong Kong ’s economy. The non-official members of the Executive Council said that in order to support the Chief Executive and his team's initiative to reduce wages and encourage all sectors of the community to work together with the public, all non-official members of the Executive Council will reduce their remuneration by 10% for a period of 1 year.