Government announced a HK$137.5 billion (US$18 billion) financial relief package on 8th April, in addition to save ailing businesses and their workers. The package is divided into 4 parts:
- Job retention;
- Job creation;
- Sector-specific aids;
- Rental concessions, fee waivers, loans
1. Financial Relief on Job retention (HK$80 billion)
Employment Support Scheme
- First and foremost, Government to pay 1.5 million workers 50% of their wages, capped at HK$9,000 a month for 6 months.
- The money will be distributed through employers. Above all recipients must have a Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) pension scheme account in order to qualify.
- Secondly, businesses can expect to apply for financial help no later by June for the first payment.
- Thirdly, self-employed people will get a one-off subsidy of HK$7,500
2. Financial Relief on Job creation
- With this in mind of unemployment rate increase in the past 3 months, the Hong Kong Government to create 30,000 job in the coming 2 years. The expenditure is HK$6 billion. To employ 10,000 civil servants and 5,000 internships.
- Hence, a HK$800 million scheme to let workers learn new skills or let businesses apply more technology. For example, Visual Aid facilities in Lew Firm.
3. Sector-specific aids (HK$21 billion)
One-off grants to:
- Tutorial schools: HK$40,000.
- Tuck shops, canteens and lunchbox providers in schools: HK$10,000-HK$80,000.
- School bus drivers and bus nannies: HK$10,000
- Sport coaches, instructors and operators of interest classes: HK$7,500.
Construction, finance, cleaning and farming
- Construction workers: HK$7,500.
- Contractors and companies: HK$20,000.
- HK stock exchange participants: HK$50,000.
- Security and Futures Commission’s licensed individual: HK$20,000
- Refuse collectors: HK$8,000.
- Farmers and fishermen: HK$10,000
Transport and aviation
- Taxi drivers and red minibus drivers to received a monthly subsidy of HK$6,000 for 6 months.
- Tax and red minibus owners: HK$30,000.
- Airport Authority to buy 500,000 air tickers for HK$2 billion.
- Local airlines to receive HK$200,000 to HK$1 million for each aircraft.
- 40 aviation support services operators: HK$1 million to HK$3 million.
- Travel Agents: HK$20,000 to HK$200,000; each staff: HK$5,000 for 6 months.
- Hotels: HK$300,000 to HK$400,000.
- Coach drivers: HK$10,000
- Cinemas to get HK$100,000 per screen, with a cap of HK$3 million for each company.
- Coming Hong Kong Book Fair participants to get HK$100,000.
- 12 selected NGOs operating businesses in public heritage building to get HK$3 million.
- In most cases, catering outlets to get HK$250,000 to HK$2.2 million, as a result, no less than 80% to be used to cover workers’ wages. However, catering outlets cannot apply for Employment Support Scheme in the same time.
- As a rule, outlets also get HK$50,000 for close-down order.
Subsidies for establishments order to close
- Also, amusement game centres, bathhouses, gyms, bowling alleys, skating rinks, mahjong parlours, clubhouse operators to receive HK$100,000 each.
- HK$30,000 to HK$100,000 for beauty salons and massage parlours, capped at HK$3 million for each chain.
4. Rental concessions, fee waivers, loans
- MTR cut fares by 20% for 6 months from 1 July 2020
- To temporarily relax the monthly public transport expense threshold of the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme from $400 to $200 for a time-limited period of 6 months from 1 July 2020
- The Education Bureau (EDB) will invite all borrowing institutions and the international schools to accept the two-year loan repayment holiday.
- Student Financial Assistance Agency (WFSFAA) will issue notification letters to student loan repayers concerned to inform them of the two-year loan repayment holiday.
- Additional extension of 3 months on deadline for payment of tax for year of assessment 2018/19.
- Nevertheless, to raise maximum loan amount under SME Financing Guarantee.
- Along with rental allowance increase for tenants of government premises from 50% to 75% for 6 months.
- Waive registration fees for 125,000 health care professionals for 3 years.
- Further extend the 75% waiver of water and sewage charges payable by non-domestic accounts for till November 2020,
5. Other Initiatives
All together, Monetary Authority to adjust regulations release a total lending capacity of HK$1 trillion for banks. On the whole, Insurance Authority to facilitate major insurance companies in offering a grace period for premium payments for clients. Apart from this, the Government departments will extend the deadline for project completion in accordance with contract mechanism and/or relax the payment schedules of Government works and non-works contracts. Last but not least, to extend the Building Covenant (BC) period for development projects by up to six months in land leases
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You may want to read: http://centreo.hk/government-measures-support-smes/