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Public finance

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2021-22 Total government revenue and expenditure
  • 2020-21 financial year: Estimated deficit of $257.6 billion
  • 2021-22 financial year: Estimated deficit of $101.6 billion, equivalent to 3.6% of GDP, mainly due to counter-cyclical fiscal measures and continued increase in recurrent expenditure
  • 2022-23 to 2025-26 financial years: Deficit for four consecutive years is expected, mainly due to rises in government expenditure outpacing increases in government revenue (especially recurrent expenditure)
  • Government expenditure should enter a consolidation period. Long-term financial commitments should be commensurate with the increase in revenue
  • Maintain the development and vibrancy of our economy, and identify new areas of growth for increasing revenue
  • Issue green bonds to fund green projects and increase Government's fiscal space
  • Review the rating system to explore room for improvement

Facing the Challenge

Reduce Expenditure
  • Zero growth in the civil service establishment in 2021-22
  • Trim government recurrent expenditure by 1% in 2022-23 without affecting livelihood-related spending. About $3.9 billion savings is expected
Increase Revenue
  • Raise the rate of Stamp Duty on Stock Transfers, from the current 0.1% to 0.13% of the consideration or value of each transaction payable by buyers and sellers respectively
  • Not the appropriate time to revise rates of profits tax and salaries tax. Government to continue reviewing and make adjustments at a suitable time
  • Not the appropriate time to introduce new taxes. Government will carry out related research and make preparation for discussion and consensus-building at a suitable time

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