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FS outlines fiscal consolidation plan

In the 2024-25 Budget announced today, Financial Secretary Paul Chan proposed a number of measures to increase revenue and outlined a fiscal consolidation programme which aims to restore fiscal balance in a few years’ time.   Mr Chan said even though the Government strived to reduce expenditure as the COVID-19 pandemic had subsided, the total expenditure for 2023-24 reached $727.9 billion, representing an increase of 36.9% compared with 2018-19, of which operating expenditure rose substantially by 40.2% whereas operating revenue increased only 13.1%.   On capital works, owing to the fact that the Government has been pressing ahead with land and housing supply projects, along with other infrastructure works for improving the environment and people’s livelihood, the average annual expenditure has increased from about $76 billion over the past five years to about $85 billion in 2023-24.   Fiscal reserves have dropped to the current level of $733.2 billion.   Fiscal consoli

HK to co-host National Games

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today welcomed the State Council's agreement for Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau to host the 15th National Games in 2025.   Mrs Lam said after the city has achieved its best results in history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Hong Kong co-hosting the National Games in 2025 is a significant move that will promote Hong Kong's sports development.   She also thanked the central government for its trust and support.   Mrs Lam added that the three places jointly hosting the National Games is very meaningful and in line with the goal of building a bay area for leisure and shaping a healthy bay area as presented in the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.   The Chief Executive said with the Kai Tak Sports Park to be commissioned in 2023 and the Hong Kong Velodrome and other sports facilities, the foundation is in place for Hong Kong to take part in the hosting of the National Games.   The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will spare no effort to work closely with the relevant ministries of the central government, Guangdong and Macau on preparatory work and follow the central authorities' requirement of simple, safe and wonderful in conducting the Games, she added.   The National Games, held once every four years, is the nation's highest level and largest national mega sports event. The 14th National Games will be held in Shaanxi in September.
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