CHINA New subsidies on electricity charges, housing to benefit millions in Hong Kong

CHINA

New subsidies on electricity charges, housing to benefit millions in Hong Kong

Xinhua

18:01, December 24, 2019

HONG KONG, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced on Tuesday that it will provide one-off electricity charges subsidy to each residential electricity account and pay one month's rent for lower income tenants living in the public rental units from January, 2020, to relieve people's financial burden.

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File photo by fotomore.com

The new round of electricity charges subsidy of 2,000 HK dollars (about 257 U.S. dollars) will be provided to each eligible residential electricity account from January, 2020. This one-off measure will involve government expenditure of about 5.6 billion HK dollars (about 720 million U.S. dollars). Over 2.7 million eligible households will benefit, the HKSAR government said in a statement.

The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) said on Tuesday that tenants and licencees who live in its public rental units and pay normal rent will not be required to pay rent for the month of January, 2020. The measure is not applicable to tenants who are required to pay additional rent.

"The government will pay the rent for January 2020 for HA tenants and licencees paying normal rent," HA said, adding that about 750,000 tenants will benefit from the measure.

The HKSAR government announced in August a package of relief measures, including tax cut, reduction of government fees and charges, paying one month's rent for lower income tenants living in the public rental unites, electricity charges subsidy, providing subsidies to kindergarten, primary and secondary school students, and Old Age Allowance, among others.

Those measures, to help enterprises and people to counter the challenging external and local economic environments, will cost a total of about 19.1 billion HK dollars (about 2.45 billion U.S. dollars). 

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