In the most recent 2024-25 Hong Kong Budget, the Financial Secretary unveiled a series of strategic policies and initiatives centred around revitalising the Hong Kong economy, including those aimed at bringing in capital, enterprises and talent. In this article, we highlight some of the key initiatives which may be of interest to employers and employees: 

  1. Salaries Tax
    Salaries tax reduction
    The Budget proposed a 100% reduction in salaries tax payable for 2023-24, subject to a ceiling of HKD3,000. It is estimated that over 2.06 million taxpayers will benefit from this measure. 

    Two-tiered tax rate regime
    The Budget proposed a two-tiered standard salaries tax rate regime to reduce the city’s deficit by increasing tax on high income earners. Starting from the year of assessment 2024-25, the first HKD5 million of net income will continue to be subject to the standard rate of 15%, while the portion of net income exceeding HKD5 million will be subject to a standard rate of 16%. This measure will only affect around 12,000 taxpayers but is expected to bring in additional revenues of around HKD910 million per year.
  2. Enterprises, Capital and Talent 
    More than 40 strategic enterprises have set up or expanded their businesses in Hong Kong, and are expected to bring in over HKD40 billion in total investment and create around 13,000 jobs. 

    Further, the Government intends to set aside HKD6 billion for the development of innovation and technology, including plans to set up the AI Supercomputing Centre, the Hong Kong Microelectronics Research and Development Institute, and the Greater Bay Area International Clinical Trial Institute. The opportunities and demand for skilled technology professionals in Hong Kong are likely to increase following the announcement.  

    Attracting new talent continues to be an important focus for Hong Kong. Over 140,000 applications under various talent schemes were approved in the last financial year, including under the Top Talent Pass Scheme, which shows that Hong Kong continues to be an attractive destination for foreign talent. The Labour and Welfare Bureau intends to explore enhancing the effectiveness of these schemes in its upcoming mid-year review as well as host a Global Talent Summit to draw more foreign talent into Hong Kong.
  3. Local Talent
    In addition to proactively attracting foreign talent, the Government will continue its efforts in nurturing local talent through a number of sector-specific talent training programmes for individuals who work in the healthcare, maritime, aviation, patent services, and legal sectors. The Government plans to allocate HKD680 million to support vocational and professional education. Initiatives include expanding the Pilot Incentive Scheme to Employers in order to encourage employers to provide more workplace learning opportunities for its employees.

    Through these initiatives, it is envisaged that employers will have access to a wider pool of talent.
  4. Social Welfare
    The Budget aims to enhance social welfare through several initiatives aimed at supporting persons with disabilities, women, and working families. 

    A pilot subsidy scheme for employed persons with disabilities is set to be introduced which will provide an additional subsidy of HKD500 per month for disabled recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme as an incentive to enter and/or remain in the workforce.  The Government will also continue to fund projects that empower women in the workforce. Measures to support working families include the establishment of more child-care centres and the expansion of the After School Care Programme.


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