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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

Rail links to boost GBA connectivity

The second stage study of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Rail Link project covering the Hung Shui Kiu to Qianhai section is expected to be completed in mid-2024.

 

Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung made the remarks in response to questions from lawmaker Chan Yuet-ming at the Legislative Council today.

 

Mr Lam said the project will connect the Hong Kong Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen New Development Area with Qianhai, thereby strengthening the connection between the Northern Metropolis and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen innovation and technology corridor.

 

Meanwhile, the proposed Northern Link Spur Line will also provide a direct railway connection between the Northern Metropolis and the new Huanggang Port in Shenzhen.

 

Hong Kong and Shenzhen are now proactively taking forward the planning work of the spur line, aiming to embark on detailed planning and design within next year.

 

Both rail projects are being taken forward by the Task Force for Hong Kong-Shenzhen Co-operation on Cross-Boundary Railway Infrastructure established in 2021 by the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

 

The task force is set to further promote connectivity in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) by jointly developing the “GBA on the Rail”.

 

Mr Lam added that the Government will explore the possibility of connecting more land boundary control points to the local railway network, having regard to the planning and engineering study for New Territories North New Town and Man Kam To.


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