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Hong Kong Today
Hong Kong Today
RTHK's morning news programme. Weekdays 6:30 - 8:00
Samantha Butler and Ben Tse


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Selected audio segments:
Property curbs scrapped in budget  Listenfacebook
The government's immediate scrapping of all property cooling measures in a bid to revive the depressed housing market has been broadly welcomed. Financial Secretary Paul Chan made the announcement on Wednesday in his annual budget speech. Violet Wong reports:
Spicy measures 'out-of-date and irrelevant'  Listenfacebook
Shares of property developers in Hong Kong jumped after the scrapping of cooling measures was announced. Real estate and construction sector lawmaker, Louis Loong, says the market needs time to digest the news. He told Anne Chan that he did not expect to see an immediate influx of homebuyers:
Dropping curbs should boost sentiment, stabilise sales  Listenfacebook
Real estate services company JLL welcomed the scrapping of all property cooling measures. Its senior director of research Cathie Chung told Anne Chan the removal of such measures could boost market sentiment:
No expectation for sharp rebound in property  Listenfacebook
DAB lawmaker Rock Chen is one of many who had urged the government to scrap the so-called "spicy" measures. He told Anne Chan that it would take time for the property market to recover:
Over HK$100 billion fiscal deficit forecast  Listenfacebook
In its fourth budget shortfall in five years, Hong Kong's current fiscal deficit will soar to more than HK$100 billion. Kristie Ko reports:
Stock market performance will affect fiscal recovery  Listenfacebook
Professor Simon Lee - an honorary fellow at the Chinese University’s Asia-Pacific Institute of Business - said the city's fiscal condition and economic growth may still be under pressure in the coming fiscal year. He told Chloe Feng that much was dependent on how well the stock market would do:
New hotel tax to be introduced  Listenfacebook
In a bid to raise revenue, the Financial Secretary says high-income earners and those with luxury homes will have to pay more tax from the coming financial year. There will also be a hotel accommodation tax from January 1 next year. As Natale Ching reports, tax assistance will continue but the amount of relief will be reduced:
Local economy will still face pressure in 2023  Listenfacebook
An economics professor says the new taxation measures will do little to boost government revenue. But Tang Heiwai, from the University of Hong Kong's Business School, welcomed plans to issue more bonds for large infrastructure projects, saying this could help diversify the city's economy in the long run. He told Chloe Feng that the SAR's economy may still be under pressure in the coming year:
Efforts ramped up to boost HK's appeal to tourists  Listenfacebook
Monthly fireworks displays and drone shows will be held to make Hong Kong more attractive to tourists. Chan said more than 80 mega-events would be staged here in the first half of this year, including "Art March", a pop-culture festival called ComplexCon, and the LIV Golf sporting event. As Kelly Yu reports, the finance minister set aside over HK$1 billion for the tourism trade to organise various events and activities:
DAB lawmaker questions monthly fireworks displays  Listenfacebook
The government's announcement of plans for monthly fireworks displays and drone shows has drawn mixed reactions from lawmakers and tourism scholars. DAB lawmaker Holden Chow called this year's budget pragmatic. But he said tourists might get tired of fireworks shows taking place every month:
Liberal Party welcomes scrapping of cooling measures  Listenfacebook
Liberal Party lawmaker, Tommy Cheung, welcomed plans for regular pyrotechnic and drone shows in Victoria Harbour. The executive councillor also told Anne Chan that the scrapping of the property cooling measures would help revive the real estate market:
Hotel tax shouldn't 'deter tourists'  Listenfacebook
A tourism scholar also welcomed the finance chief's proposal to create enchanting experiences for tourists. Dennis Wong, a hospitality expert from the Vocational Training Council, said more "Hong Kong elements" would be needed for the monthly fireworks and drone shows. He also told Kelly Yu that the three percent hotel accommodation tax was "acceptable" and would not deter tourists from staying overnight:
Massive Lantau reclamation project on hold  Listenfacebook
In his budget speech, the Financial Secretary also announced the government's ambitious reclamation project off Lantau would be postponed, but not scrapped. Reclamation at Kau Yi Chau was scheduled to begin next year. Chan says the vast development in the northern New Territories, dubbed the Northern Metropolis, will go ahead first. Altis Wong reports:
Tobacco tax rises again  Listenfacebook
In a bid to curb smoking, the government has increased tobacco tax to 80 cents per cigarette, bringing the cost of a pack to over HK$90. It takes immediate effect. Paul Chan said this would give smokers more reason to quit. Azam Khan reports:
Welfare measures 'not good enough' to meet demand  Listenfacebook
All the budget sweeteners this year totalled around HK$11.5 billion, down 80 percent from a year ago. Paul Chan said he hoped Hongkongers understood that the government's fiscal position limited its ability to offer relief measures. He said officials wanted to help grassroots people boost their income by improving the economy. He said he was sorry he could not do more. But welfare sector lawmaker, Tik Chi-yuen, says the government failed to offer sufficient welfare measures in the budget. He told Anne Chan that the government should offer more support to carers, the disabled, and the elderly:
Broad Strokes: Musical events for all musical tastes  Listenfacebook
On Broad Strokes this week, we bring you three very different and unique musical events. A local indie collective will hold a two-day showcase; there is an immersive concert combining music, art and nature; and for those who like to dance, there is a night of eclectic “Cantonese Disco”. Find out more in this episode of our regular arts and culture podcast, presented by Ben Tse and Jacqueline Guico: