Hong Kong budget 2024-25: finance chief Paul Chan scraps all property curbs in radical bid to boost ailing market

This live blog has been made freely available as a public service to our readers. Please consider supporting SCMP’s journalism by subscribing in our spring flash sale.
Hong Kong finance chief Paul Chan Mo-po has announced the city will remove all restrictions on property transactions as part of his solutions to the city’s sluggish economy and shrinking fiscal reserves in what some analysts are calling the most difficult budget blueprint ever.

Themed “Advance with Confidence. Seize Opportunities. Strive for High-quality Development”, the budget blueprint being unveiled on Wednesday morning includes a series of measures to spur growth.

All of the decade-old cooling measures aimed at curbing speculation have been scrapped with immediate effect in a bid to revive Hong Kong’s depressed property market, with lived-in home prices falling for the ninth straight month in January to a level last seen in 2016.

Fresh funding has been earmarked for energising tourism while salary and profit taxes have been reduced to ease the financial burden on the public and small and medium-sized enterprises amid the government’s dire financial health.

The financial secretary has pledged to take a more targeted approach to spending this year and ditch consumption vouchers for residents as the city’s deficit is set to balloon to more than HK$100 billion, potentially leaving Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves at their lowest in a decade.

Reporting by Jeffie Lam, Denise Tsang, Lo Hoi-ying, Sammy Heung, Elizabeth Cheung, Lilian Cheng, Natalie Wong, Oscar Liu, Connor Mycroft, Jess Ma and Harvey Kong


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.