Low tax rates and a simple tax regime have been the two cornerstones of Hong Kong's signature light-handed approach to public governance since the 1970s.
In recent years, however, there has been a debate over whether this policy is still relevant in a world that has undergone considerable change. Issues such as an ageing population are expected to push up public expenditure, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has only served to exacerbate matters.
Recurrent expenditure in 2020/21 was about HK$490 billion: a one-third increase on 2017/18 and triple the level of 1997/98. Since the onset of the pandemic, our fiscal reserves have been depleted by nearly 30%.
In the meantime, an international tax deal backed by 132 countries, partly intended to end the "global race to the bottom" on corporate tax rates, has added to questions on how Hong Kong's tax regime should adapt.
Join us on 20 September when Stephen Chiu, Associate Professor of Economics at HKU Business School, and Andrew Fennell, Lead Analyst for China and Hong Kong at Fitch Ratings, will share their thoughts on Hong Kong's tax regime and fiscal sustainability. They will also discuss ways to address the city's narrow tax base amid the pandemic, our changing demographics, as well as the likely impact of the global tax revamp.
This session is the third in a series of events the Chamber's Economic Policy Committee is organizing with the HKU Business School to consider some of the pressing issues facing Hong Kong. Forthcoming topics include brain drain, social inequality and ageing population.
For HKU students and alumni, please click here for registration.
Coronavirus Containment Measure:
- To prevent the spread of Covid-19, we kindly ask that all event participants wear a mask when attending the event
- To minimise the risk of spreading the coronavirus, if you or a family member has been overseas within 14 days of this event, then we kindly request that you do not attend.
- To prevent the spread of Covid-19, food and beverages will not be provided during the event
- Chamber staff will be conducting temperature checks at the premises.