Hong Kong announces $2.4bn economic support package

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Hong Kong says the measures are not in response to recent protests in the region

The Hong Kong government announced a $2.4bn (£1.9bn) economic support package on Thursday in a bid to ease headwinds.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan said it would include subsidies for businesses and the underprivileged as well as higher salary tax rebates.

However, he stressed that the package was not in response to escalating political protests in the territory.

Earlier today, Hong Kong cut its 2019 growth forecast and on Wednesday, analysts said retail sales and tourism had been badly affected by both the protests and the continuing US-China trade war.

On Friday, Hong Kong will release economic data for the second quarter of 2019, as well as its latest GDP forecasts.

Non-dom exodus hits tax take

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The number of UK residents whose permanent home - or domicile - is outside of the UK has fallen by 13% to 78,300 in the last year. And that has hit Treasury revenues, according to law firm Pinsent Masons.

As a result, tax paid by so-called non-domiciled residents - or non-doms - has fallen 21% to £7.5bn, it said.

“Brexit uncertainty is driving out many of the wealthiest non-doms who are not prepared to hang around to find out the outcome," Pinsent Masons' Josie Hills, said.

“The prospect of a Labour government is also very unappealing for high net worths - talk of monetary controls and wealth taxes are not well received," she said.

"Given that there could be a general election in the near future, many will not be willing to take the risk that this becomes a reality.”

“Non-doms make a huge contribution to HM Treasury’s coffers; this small group has contributed £45bn in tax over the last five years. The impacts of falling tax receipts from non-doms may only be felt once it’s too late," she warned.

Top earners contribute 25% of all income tax

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The UK's top earners pay just over a quarter of all income tax, figures have shown.

There are 310,000 people in the top 1% of taxpayers, with only 11% of them being women.

But this group plays a crucial role in the economy, as Paul Johnson of the Institute For Fiscal Studies explains.

He told Today: "They have about 12% of all income so have got a lot of money, but they are also rather important to the rest of us, as they pay an awful lot of money into the exchequer.

"They are paying far more than 30 or 40 years ago because they have got far more money than they had in the past, although compared with 2008 the figures have not changed very much, as incomes have not grown that much over that period.".

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

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People who claim tax credits will be in danger of losing their payments if they missed a renewal deadline at the end of July.

But an advice group has explained that they may have a second chance to avoid losing some of their benefits.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has urged anyone in that situation to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible as they could see the payments reinstated.

There is a 30-day deadline for renewing and restoring a claim.

"Now that Universal Credit has been introduced across the UK, most people can no longer make brand new tax credit claims and so it is even more important that people act quickly to restore their claim if they have missed the 31 July deadline," said Victoria Todd, head of the group.