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The Budget; The 1st Chief Executive Debate (02 Mar 2007)


The international stock markets may have been in for a rocky ride over the past few days, but locally the two most significant stories of the week have been this year's Budget, and a hirotical first debate between contenders in the Chief Executive election. The Financial Secretary gave away around $20 billion in tax relief and one-off rebates. Marginal tax rates and bands will revert to the 2002-03 level. 50% of salaries tax, up to $15,000 for the past financial year will be waived, as will rates for the first two quarters of this year. There's an increased allowance for those with children and new-born babies, plus an additional month of payment for CSSA recipients, the elderly and the disabled. Stamp duty for properties worth between one and two million dollars is reduced to $100, and taxes on wine and beer are halved. We get the politician's views, and then - in our studio - opinions from the world of finance with Tom Mitchell of the Financial Times, Andrew Work of the Lion Rock Institute, and Guy Ellis of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Whatever we might think about the structure of it, or the performance of the contenders, this week's debate between Chief Executive election candidates was undoubtedly a politically significant event, a first not only for Hong Kong but for China. In our studio to review the debate are Kitty Poon of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and commentator Chip Tsao.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, March 2, 2007
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