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Hong Kong Today
Hong Kong Today
RTHK's morning news programme. Weekdays 6:30 - 8:00
Janice Wong and Mike Weeks


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Selected audio segments:
Budget gets mixed reaction  Listenfacebook
Despite estimating a record HK$257 billion deficit for this fiscal year, the Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced a HK$120 billion package of measures to help individuals and businesses weather the economic storm caused by Covid-19 in his budget on Wednesday. It included HK$5,000 worth of electronic spending vouchers for all and very low interest loans of up to HK$80,000 for people who've lost their jobs. Some questioned the usefulness of the e-vouchers and loans, saying the proposals won't do much to help those in need, as Maggie Ho reports:
Liberal leader says e-vouchers will ensure economy gets cash boost   Listenfacebook
The leader of the Liberal Party, Felix Chung, told RTHK the 2021-22 budget was better than expected. He welcomed the HK$5,000 e-voucher. He said the pro-business party had backed the idea as well as the rise in tax on stock transactions that was announced by the Financial Secretary on Wednesday. But he told Janice Wong the government could have done more to support jobs:
$8 billion for national security questioned  Listenfacebook
One of the surprise revelations in the budget was the HK$8 billion set aside for safeguarding national security. The Financial Secretary said little about it, sparking calls for greater transparency on how the money is spent. Timmy Sung reports:
Hong Kong stocks take a hit from rise in stamp duty  Listenfacebook
The Financial Secretary has proposed increasing stamp duty on stock transactions by 30 percent. He admitted the hike - from 0.1 to 0.13 percent - will affect both buyers and sellers but said the impact on the securities market and Hong Kong’s international competitiveness had been considered. However, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) was clearly taken by surprise. Shares of the market operator tumbled 8.8 percent on Wednesday, as the Hang Seng Index fell three percent. Jackson Wong, an asset management director at Amber Hill Capital, told RTHK's Joanne Wong that although the Hong Kong market will remain competitive, the rise in stamp duty is a retrograde move:
Tax on vehicles rises 15-30 percent  Listenfacebook
The government has raised taxes on new vehicles and increased annual licence fees in an attempt to ease traffic congestion. Hong Kong aims to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel-run cars entirely by 2035 or earlier. Candice Wong has that story.
Hong Kong tipped for growth in 2021  Listenfacebook
Hong Kong is expected to post a record HK$257 billion budget deficit for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Financial Secretary Paul Chan does expect the economy to return to growth this year, but for government finances to remain in the red for a number of years to come. Here's Priscilla Ng.
Tax expeert says HK’s balance sheet is very, very strong  Listenfacebook
The head of tax in Hong Kong at KPMG China, John Timpany, says the government is right to look into ways to increase revenue, but that Hong Kong's finances are in great shape. He spoke to Mike Weeks about Wednesday’s budget:
Six possible Covid cases connected to TST restaurant   Listenfacebook
The government says hundreds of thousands of doses of the BioNtech coronavirus vaccine won't arrive in Hong Kong on Thursday as scheduled. It said the German pharmaceutical company has made the one million doses procured by the SAR but these are being held up by export procedures. This was revealed as people who dined at a Chinese restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui in the past week were ordered to get tested for Covid-19, after six of its customers came down with the disease. New infections climbed to 17 on Wednesday, as Wendy Wong reports:
Old blocks set for $1billion pipe upgrade  Listenfacebook
The government set aside HK$1 billion in the buidget to subsidise the owners of 3,000 old buildings to replace sewage and drainage pipes. The Financial Secretary said people have become increasingly concerned about pipes in their buildings helping to spread Covid-19. Henry Hung, a member of the Chartered Institution of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, told Violet Wong that authorities should do more to ensure the pipes are well maintained even after the upgrade:
Great outdoors gets budget boost   Listenfacebook
The government's proposing to pump half a billion dollars into enhancing facilities at country parks, and to spice things up further by introducing new amenities like zip-lines and glamping. Vicky Wong reports: