Budget Speech

Revised Estimates for 2019-20

152. The 2019-20 revised estimates on government revenue is $567.3 billion, lower than the original estimate by 9.4 per cent or $58.8 billion.  This is mainly because revenues from profits tax, salaries tax and stamp duties are lower than the original estimate by $53.4 billion. 

153. Revenues from profits tax and salaries tax dropped substantially by $40.4 billion due to economic condition, enhanced tax concessions and a deferred tax assessment cycle as compared with previous years.  On the other hand, stamp duty revenue is $63 billion, $13 billion less than the original estimate, attributed to smaller-than-expected trading volumes brought about by adjustments in the property and stock markets over the year.

154. As for government expenditure, the revised estimate is 611.4 billion, 0.6 per cent or $3.6 billion higher than the original estimate.  This is mainly because of the establishment of the Anti-epidemic Fund, and that expenditures on public works projects were lower than the original estimates. 

155. All in all, I forecast a deficit of $37.8 billion for 2019-20.  Fiscal reserves are expected to be $1,133.1 billion by 31 March 2020.

156. The civil service establishment increased by 3 481 posts in this financial year, representing a growth of 1.8 per cent, close to the average growth of one to two per cent over the past decade.   



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