68. In preparing for this
year's Budget, I have heard many calls for an increase
in the allowances for dependent parents and children.
At present, salaries taxpayers caring for
dependent parents or grandparents aged 60 or above enjoy
tax allowances. Because
of economic restructuring and the fact that the
unemployment rate for older workers is still relatively
high, the younger generation will inevitably have to
undertake a heavier responsibility in caring for their
responsibility will be less in respect of those parents
who are under 60, as they have a better chance of
finding a full-time or part-time job.
As a relief measure, I propose to introduce two
new allowances for taxpayers taking care of dependent
parents or grandparents aged between 55 and 59.
They will be granted a basic allowance of $
year, with an additional allowance of the same amount if
their parents or grandparents are residing with them.
I understand that
people have high expectations of their children and
attach great importance to their education.
Moreover, the cost of living is rising, so the
burden of raising children is rather heavy.
I therefore propose to increase the child
allowance from $30,000 per child to $40,000.
Some people have suggested that the Government
should offer tax concessions for children's education.
I believe that increasing the child allowance as
I have just mentioned is a simpler and more flexible way
of easing parents' financial burden in this respect,
and more people will be able to benefit from it.