Revised Estimates for 2017-18
58. The 2017-18 revised estimate on government revenue is $612.4 billion, 20.6 per cent or $104.7 billion higher than the original estimate. This is due mainly to much higher-than-expected revenues from land premium and stamp duties.
59. The revenue arising from the sale of several residential and commercial sites in the urban area and a sharp increase in the number of land exchange agreements concluded with developers, land premium increases by $62.6 billion to $163.6 billion or 62 per cent higher than the original estimate. As a result of heated trading in both the property and stock markets last year, the revenue arising from stamp duties would be $39.7 billion or 75 per cent higher than estimated, reaching $92.7 billion.
60. As for government expenditure, I forecast a revised estimate of $474.4 billion, 3.5 per cent or $17 billion lower than the original estimate. This is mainly because the expenditure on certain initiatives, such as the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) and the Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA), were lower than the original estimate.
61. For 2017-18, I forecast a surplus of $138 billion. Fiscal reserves are expected to reach $1,092 billion by 31 March 2018 while the Housing Reserve will reach $78.8 billion.