What should or could have been big news turned into the usual damp squib. Hong Kong’s surplus was once again grossly underestimated. (How hard can it be when, as announced in the budget speech, a tax policy unit is being set up to comprehensively examine Hong Kong’s narrow tax base?)
Personal income tax remains at 15%, and corporate tax remains at 16.5%. Key allowances (personal, married person’s, etc.) remain unchanged.
The new Financial Secretary, like his predecessor, decided in the name of prudence to avoid doing virtually anything with the huge surplus which Hong Kong enjoys year after year. Save, of course, for the now standard populist - or is it condescending? - practice of giving one-off moderate tax rebates.