Friday, March 23, 2018

What a novel concept! Hong Kong gives money back to taxpayers after earning budget surplus

There are very few politicians who would ever dream of giving back money that they did not need or use to either the people, or their departments.  And the only individuals I can recall in recent times who have done this were the Father-Son duo of Ron and Rand Paul.

However even with this anomaly, when was the last time you ever heard of a municipality giving back excess monies to their citizens (taxpayers) when they were prudent enough to run a tight fiscal budget?  None that I can remember certainly in my lifetime... until now when it was announced on March 23 that the City of Hong Kong was going to redistribute a portion of their $18 billion surplus they had ending the last fiscal year back to the people.

The government of Hong Kong has announced its decision to share the city’s record $18 billion surplus with more than one-third of its residents. 
“[We are] trying to cover more people who may not directly benefit from the budget,” said Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po at a press conference on Friday. 
According to him, the handout was meant for Hong Kong residents who are 18 years old and over; who do not own a property; do not receive any government allowances; and will not pay income tax for the financial year ending next week. 
Those who meet the above criteria but have to pay income tax can still get some cash, he said. If the tax concession they receive is under $500, they will receive the difference between the two amounts. 
The finance chief singled out the “small number of people” who pay no tax but live in properties they own. If they receive less than $500 in rates waivers announced in the budget, they will get the difference between the amount waived and the cash handout. 
The handouts would cost the government an extra $1.4 billion, Chan said, explaining that they were in response to views that Hong Kong lawmakers and people had expressed “loud and clear.” – Russia Today


Nothing new. HK did it before ~7 years ago. Macau does it almost every year.

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