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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

Patriotic education law welcomed

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government welcomed the adoption of the Patriotic Education Law of the People's Republic of China at the sixth session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People's Congress today.

 

The law, which will take effect on January 1, 2024, aims to strengthen patriotic education, inherit and promote the spirit of patriotism.

 

The law sets out the main content of patriotic education, covering areas such as ideology and politics, history and culture, national symbols, the motherland's magnificent scenery and historical and cultural heritage, constitution and law, national unity and ethnic solidarity, national security and defence, and the deeds of heroes, martyrs and role models.

 

It also includes provisions on patriotic education for different groups such as compatriots in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

 

Chief Executive John Lee said the Hong Kong SAR Government has been working together with various sectors to promote patriotic education, with a view to enhancing the sense of national identity and patriotism in the community.

 

“The Hong Kong SAR Government will fully facilitate the relevant work to co-ordinate within the Government and also the patriotic forces of different sectors in making persistent efforts to promote patriotic education, so as to enable the public to gain further knowledge of the history, culture and rapid development in all aspects of our country and understand the close relationship between Mainland and Hong Kong,” Mr Lee added.


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