Budget ︱ An additional 2.4 billion yuan in gaming tax will be collected every year

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po today (22nd) announced the first budget of the new government. Chen Maobo attended the press conference in the afternoon and was asked why he paid the Jockey Club an additional football betting tax of 2.4 billion yuan a year. Chen said that the government has considered the Jockey Club’s reserves and charitable donations, and also asked the Jockey Club not to reduce donations. How to deal with the 2.4 billion additional stamp duty, it’s good to save money, it’s good to use its reserve, everything is good, it’s up to him to decide.”

The following are excerpts from the Q&A at the press conference:

Why cancel the one-month rent payment by public housing tenants?

Chen Maobo pointed out that the abolition of one month’s rent for public housing tenants was abolished in the last budget. He pointed out that there are opinions in the society that being able to live in public housing is already a huge subsidy from public resources, and that more citizens living in subdivided housing will face greater difficulties, so they have to make a choice.

Why halve the consumption voucher?

Chen Maobo pointed out that the original intention of consumer coupons was that the economy was in recession at that time, and the government hoped to stimulate public consumption to support the economy and support small and medium-sized enterprises, so that they could continue to operate, which in disguise was also to protect employment. He also pointed out that this time, he has considered for a long time whether to implement consumer coupons. Although the economy is recovering, some industries still need to be consolidated, so he decided to distribute 5,000 yuan of consumer coupons.

Why are the second-stage consumer coupons announced later? Can “Gao Cai Tong” applicants cancel the coupons?

Chen Maobo pointed out that, as usual, Hong Kong permanent residents can receive full consumption coupons; otherwise, they can only get half of the amount. As for when the line will be drawn and whether “Gaocaitong” can obtain consumption coupons, it will be announced later.

Will you worry about the high price of cigarettes? Will smokers switch to heated cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, etc., and even exacerbate the situation of illicit cigarettes?

Chen Maobo said that the 30% tobacco tax increase this time is to consider the impact of the increase on ordinary grassroots citizens as much as possible. He also pointed out that the last increase in tobacco tax was a long time ago. The effect has been faded, so it was decided to increase it accordingly.

How is the 2.4 billion extra football betting tax calculated every year? Why not directly increase the tax rate, why choose the Jockey Club to “operate”?

Chen Maobo said that the policy is to consider the overall competitiveness of the entire gaming industry. Since there are football betting online and nearby casinos, the competition is very fierce. The current disguised gaming tax has increased from 50% to about 60%. The fixed tax amount is to allow the government to Observe the competitive environment and consider what to do next. He also pointed out that the government has considered the Jockey Club’s reserves and charitable donations, and has also asked the Jockey Club not to reduce donations. It’s good, everything is good, he thinks about it by himself.”

He also pointed out that the government will continue to pay attention, “We have the space to do whatever we think we should do. The flexibility and initiative are in the hands of the government.”

When asked why the Jockey Club responded so strongly, Chen Maobo pointed out that “there may be no one who likes to increase taxes,” and added that the open source is “I don’t want to mess with everyone, I don’t want to increase salaries tax, I don’t want to increase profits tax, the scope of influence must be limited. The narrowest, I think he (the club) can afford it.”

Why is the upper limit of salaries tax concession reduced to $6,000?

Chen Maobo said that when he took office in January 2017, the government had a surplus of over 100 billion yuan, the highest in history, so it decided to rebate taxes, but now there is a deficit, so it is necessary to do what is within its means and reduce support measures in all aspects. He also pointed out that the economic environment has been difficult in the past two years, so the relevant salaries tax concession ceiling has been gradually reduced, and he does not want to put too much immediate pressure on the public.

Why is the ad valorem stamp duty widened? Will you worry about stimulating property prices?

Chen Maobo said that the currently affected Schedule 2 belongs to the first stamp duty and does not involve investment or foreign investment. He pointed out that 90% of the transaction volume last year were first-time home buyers, and most of them belonged to small and medium-sized units. Therefore, the revision was made to help the public reduce the burden. “It is good for decoration, and it is good for buying more pieces of furniture.” He believes that, The measures will not stimulate property prices, because if property speculation is still required to pay special stamp duty, it is believed that the risk of stimulating property prices is not high.

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