Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Mar 30, 2023

Waive extra stamp duty, give HK$50,000 for freezing eggs or sperm: Regina Ip

Waive extra stamp duty, give HK$50,000 for freezing eggs or sperm: Regina Ip

Give subsidies to parents and those who freeze their eggs or sperm to reverse drop in the birth rate, Regina Ip tells government.

Hong Kong should consider waiving extra stamp duty on home purchases by mainland Chinese arrivals and other newcomers who have lived in the city for at least three years, while offering cash incentives and subsidies to encourage couples to have babies, a top government adviser has suggested.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, convenor of the Executive Council, a key decision-making body, on Thursday recommended the government offer a HK$20,000 (US$2,500) “baby bonus” to parents and a HK$50,000 subsidy to Hongkongers to freeze their eggs and sperm as such services were expensive.

“Many women and men who have a high income and are well-educated get married later in life. To give them a choice on the best timing to give birth to children, the government should encourage them to ultilise these technology to store their sperm and eggs,” she said, speaking on behalf of her New People’s Party.

Founder and Chairperson New People’s Party Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee.

The incentives would help ensure the city remained just as attractive a place to work and raise a family as Britain, Canada and Singapore, while reversing a brain drain and drop in the birth rate, she argued.

Ip put forward her party’s suggestions after meeting city leader John Lee Ka-chiu earlier in the day to discuss proposals for his first policy address scheduled for next month. Lee has said that attracting talent would be one of the top priorities of his administration.

Hong Kong has lost tens of thousands of residents in recent years after a number of countries offered them bespoke pathways to citizenship following Beijing’s imposition of the national security law in 2020. Some 113,200 residents left the city between mid-2021 and mid-2022, official data showed. The number of births in Hong Kong also hit a record low last year, falling below 40,000 for the first time in more than five decades.

To encourage immigration, Ip suggested reducing the 30 per cent stamp duty on home purchases levied on non-locals, double what residents who are not first-time buyers pay. That rate was too high and discouraged immigrants from settling down, she maintained, suggesting arrivals who had lived in the city for at least three years pay the same 15 per cent as locals.

“We believe that will be fairer,” she said. “The proposal does not only target mainland Chinese talents but also those from overseas. It’s not discriminatory.”

The buyers should still have to pay the double stamp duty if they left before obtaining permanent residency after seven years, she argued, adding the policy would not be “too costly” for the government as she estimated only a third of arrivals intended to remain in the city for good.

Ip made headlines last month when she told a foreign media outlet Hong Kong “may consider waiving extra stamp duty on homes for mainland Chinese buyers as a way to shore up the economy and reverse a brain drain”, a suggestion quickly dismissed by the government. She later clarified the idea was hers and she planned to present the proposal to Lee ahead of his policy address on October 19.

On reversing the worsening brain drain fuelled in part by the government’s tough Covid-19 curbs, Ip said the city’s leader should draw up a “talent list” and target professionals in sectors such as finance, transport, law, innovation and technology, and arts and culture. The government should invite companies in these areas to set up headquarters in Hong Kong, she added.

To make immigration easier, the government should provide the professionals with a one-stop service for finding accommodation, education for their children and domestic helpers, the party suggested, adding the parents of the arrivals should also be granted dependant visas, in addition to ones given to their spouse and children.

Ip’s party also proposed changing the district councils, currently returned entirely through direct election, to a model akin to the Legislative Council revamped under Beijing’s “patriots-only” rule. Only 20 per cent of district council seats should be directly returned, with the rest decided by either appointment or indirect polls, it said.

The government should also consider extending the retirement age from 60 to 65 for the 180,000 civil servants, she suggested.

Separately, Federation of Trade Unions members and lawmakers, who also met Lee on Thursday, called on the government to waive the stamp duty for first-time homebuyers who hoped to purchase properties that cost less than HK$8 million.

They urged the government to roll out a concrete road map for wiping out the city’s notorious subdivided flats by 2035 and relocating the roughly 220,000 residents currently living in these cramped cubicles.

Xia Baolong, the director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, last year said Hong Kong should “bid farewell” to subdivided flats and cage homes by 2049.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Tsai Ing-wen received a "warm welcome" from the Chinese people in the US.
EU's von der Leyen: "We know this is an era where we rely on one single supplier. China. 98% of our rare earth supply."
China and Brazil have signed a new deal that will allow them to trade in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar as an intermediary
Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’
“We've had evidence prior to the pandemic that masks were largely ineffective at preventing community transmission of influenza “
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rejects being labeled a "billionaire"
Jamie Dimon is being deposed over JPMorgan Chase role in Epstein lawsuits
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
Social Media censoring users for saying the true
Smart Iranian fashion designer teaching dummy TV anchors lesson about reality
U.S. charges FTX's Bankman-Fried with paying $40 million bribe
Fallen 'Crypto King' Who Owes Millions to Investors Was Kidnapped and Tortured
Regulators blame social media for SVB's rapid collapse: 'Complete game changer'
AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
Singapore’s Prime Minister says China and US need to stabilize relations because world can't afford a confict between the two superpowers
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Reform Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Paris: Some of the police are stepping down and showing solidarity with the protesters.
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam