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The Government’s introduction of the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and the Double Stamp Duty (DSD) to address the issues with the property market since last year has impacted on Hong Kong people, the property market and the business community. Representatives from an alliance of victims met today (September 3) with the Business and Professionals Alliance (BPA) to reflect their opinions. Both sides called on the Government to revise the content of its measures in a suitable manner.
BPA Chairman Mr Andrew Leung agreed with the spirit of the speculation curbing measures but noted that they failed to suppress property prices and that relevant transactions had fallen sharply as a result. “The indiscriminate measures have hit property agents, the decoration and advertising industries hard, hampering normal business operations, and their ripple effects have affected the livelihoods of tens of thousands of families,” he said.
Secretary General Mr Abraham Shek said that the Alliance would propose two amendments when the Legislative Council was back in session, including exemption of BSD on local companies whose owners or directors are Hong Kong people, and exemption of DSD on transactions of industrial and commercial properties. “As long as we specify that a local company owned by Hong Kong people that bought a property cannot transfer the property or the shares within 3 years, it won’t stimulate property speculation,” he said.
BPA legislator Dr Priscilla Leung also hoped the Government could listen to the views of legislators and the industry to perfect the legislation.
A representative of the alliance of the victims, Mr Kwok Tak-leung, said both sides shared similar views on the Government’s tough measures on property transactions. He added that his alliance would try different ways to secure the support of the public, political parties and the Government to amend the measures.