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Summary of 2012-13 Government Budget (Main Points for Carrying Business)

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Supporting Enterprises

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  • Enhance the existing SME Financing Guarantee Scheme by increasing the maximum loan guarantee ratio to 80% for which the Government will provide a guarantee commitment of $100 billion while the guarantee fee will be lowered.
  • The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation will offer new policy terms which will include special concessions for SME policyholders who will be allowed to insure their exports only for places and buyers of their choice, and will be entitled to various premium discounts.
  • Waive business registration fees for 2012–13. This proposal will cost the Government $1.9 billion.
  • Reduce profits tax for 2011–12 by 75%, subject to a ceiling of $12,000. This proposal will cost the Government $1.12 billion.
  • Halve the charges for import and export declarations and abolish capital duty levied on local companies. These measures will cost the Government $840 million a year.

Preserving Employment

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  • Earmark $220 million to support the Construction Industry Council in enhancing manpower training to bring fresh blood into the industry to meet the demand created by future infrastructure developments.
  • The Employees Retraining Board will offer 130,000 training places for the unemployed and people seeking employment. Adequate resources have been reserved for providing an additional 30,000 training places to meet contingencies.
  • The Vocational Training Council will set up an International Cuisine College which is expected to admit its first cohort of students in the 2014–15 academic year. It will provide more than 2,000 places a year.
  • Inject $100 million into the Enhancing Employment of People with Disabilities through Small Enterprises Project, under which funding is granted to non-government organisations to set up small enterprises employing people with disabilities.
  • Continue to pursue the Youth Pre-employment Training Programme and Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme, Employment Programme for the Middle-aged, and Work Orientation and Placement Scheme.
  • These projects benefit 20,000 job seekers each year and involve an annual expenditure of $175 million.

?Relief Measures

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  • Provide an extra allowance, equal to one month’s payment, to CSSA recipients, Old Age Allowance and Disability Allowance recipients.
  • Pay two months’ rent for public housing tenants.
  • If necessary, allocate $100 million to extend short-term food assistance services.
  • Grant each residential electricity account a subsidy of $1,800, benefitting 2.5 million households.
  • Waive rates for 2012–13, subject to a ceiling of $2,500 per quarter for each rateable property. It is estimated that almost 90% of properties will be subject to no rates in the year. This proposal will cost the Government $11.7 billion.
  • Reduce salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2011–12 by 75%, subject to a ceiling of $12,000. This proposal, benefitting 1.5 million taxpayers, will cost the Government $8.9 billion.
  • Propose various tax measures: raising the basic allowance to $120,000 and married person’s allowance to $240,000; increasing the allowance for maintaining a dependent parent or grandparent aged 60 or above to $38,000; raising the child allowance to $63,000; raising the dependent brother/sister allowance to $33,000; raising the disabled dependent allowance to $66,000; extending the entitlement period for the tax reduction for home loan interest to 15 years of assessment and increasing the maximum tax deduction for mandatory contributions to Mandatory Provident Fund schemes to $15,000. These measures will cost the Government $3.5 billion a year.
  • Give all student loan borrowers who complete their studies in 2012 the option to start repaying their student loans one year after completion of studies. This will alleviate the financial burden of fresh graduates.

Promoting Development of Industries

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  • Promote the development of the retail bond market. A further issuance of iBond worth not more than $10 billion will be launched.
  • Allocate $150 million to the Mega Events Fund and extend its operation for 5 years.
  • Increase the cash rebate under the R&D Cash Rebate Scheme, raise the funding ceiling of the Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme and increase the monthly allowance of the Internship Programme under the Innovation and Technology Fund.
  • Introduce measures to encourage the use of industrial buildings and industrial lots for data centres.
  • Set up a fund of $1 billion to help Hong Kong enterprises tap the Mainland market.
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