Hong Kong’s finance chief on Wednesday announced a loan scheme for the unemployed and tax breaks of up to HK$10,000 to alleviate hardship in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but social welfare handouts were reduced in the 2021-22 budget compared to the previous year.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan, announcing the measures at the legislature, said loans of up to HK$80,000 each would be available for around 245,000 Hongkongers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Photo: GovHK.

The loans will carry a fixed interest rate of one per cent but applicants would only have to repay the interest in the first year, with the principal repaid over up to the next five years. Those who repay the full amount on time will be reimbursed for the interest they paid.



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