Saturday, May 23, 2015   

Double stamp duty slammed
(07-11 13:47)

Pro-business legislators have sharply criticized the government for refusing to exempt companies from paying the double stamp duty when they buy commercial properties.
During the second reading of the bill, Liberal Party Councillor James Tien Pei-chun said the double stamp violates the principle of a free market and he would support all amendments that could water down the measure.
Legislator Abraham Shek Lai-him, who represents the real estate and construction sector, said that since the government introduced what he called the "emergency measures" in late 2012, home prices had gone up by 35 percent, and transactions on residential properties had dropped significantly.
He said the double stamp duty will hurt Hong Kong's economy.
The Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said the measure, introduced in February last year, had been effective in controlling property prices.
He reiterated that the higher stamp duty would not hurt the territory's competitiveness. --RTHK   
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