As we begin the Year of the Rooster, Hong Kong residents have many hopes for the New Year. Since the international market faced unforeseen challenges, the economic forecast for 2017 is for slower economic growth than in 2016.
In view of the anticipated surplus of tens of billions of dollars in the current fiscal year, which is much higher than the original estimate of $ 11.4 billion, the DAB hopes that the Budget promulgated by the SAR Government next month will make full use of this surplus and actively allocate resources to the people in response to public aspirations. Our suggested measures include:
1.Waive rates for entire year: maximum per household every quarter to be no more than $2,500
2Give deductions on salaries tax and profits tax of up to no more than $20,000
3.Waive public housing rent for a month
4.Release the amount of the additional one-month Old Age Allowance, the Living Allowance and the Disability Allowance to those in need；
5.Provide electricity subsidies at the rate of $1800 per household
Improve the tax structure
6.Extension of the deduction period for home loan interest from the current 15 years to 20 years;
7.Establish a tax deduction for home rent to the maximum limit of $100,000 for a period of 20 years;
Continue to improve financial assistance to our seniors
8.Lower the age of eligibility for the OALA to 65 years of age
9.Raise the asset limit for those applying for a high tier of assistance in the OALA
Support and assist in building maintenance
10.Launch the third round of the “Operation Building Bright” campaign to improve building safety and beautify the urban landscape;
11.Provide financial and technical support to owners who fail to comply with the requirements of the Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance to install fire service installations and equipment such as water tanks and hose reels.
12.Staff and resources should be allocated to enhance the quality of Liaison Officers within District Offices. The “Liaison Officers” model will enable the Building Liaison Officers to focus on building management and strengthen building management and maintenance related training. This will help to assist residents to prevent the bid-rigging for projects.
Therefore, the DAB urges the Government to respond to the demands of the community, boost the economy, maintain a favorable employment environment and relieve the financial burden of the public.
Press contact: DAB District Councilor Joe Lai (9198 9943)