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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

CE reviews passing-out parade

Chief Executive John Lee today inspected 128 Assistant Officers II on parade at the Hong Kong Correctional Services Academy.


Speaking at the parade, Mr Lee pointed out that the Correctional Services Department (CSD), as one of the six disciplined services departments guarding Hong Kong, shares the important mission of safeguarding national security.


He stressed that following the central government’s decisive promulgation on the implementation of the National Security Law in 2020, Hong Kong has transitioned from chaos to order and resumed social stability, with the offenders concerned having been arrested, remanded and sentenced.


Correctional officers have fearlessly prevented and combatted illicit activities in correctional institutions, preventing prisons from being turned into bases for subversion against China and Hong Kong, he added.


On top of that, Mr Lee commended the CSD for its efforts in rehabilitation work, anti-crime promotion and community education.


Additionally, he highlighted its launch of innovative activities, such as Project PATH, to assist persons in custody (PICs) who were involved in serious offences and those with radical thoughts in an effort to rebuild positive values.


The CSD also arranged for a promotion vehicle to visit primary schools to spread messages about national security, national education, crime prevention and support for rehabilitation. There is also an exchange programme for the Rehabilitation Pioneer Leaders to visit Greater Bay Area cities.


The Chief Executive highlighted the fact that there are several policy initiatives, announced in his Policy Address last month, that will be implemented by the CSD.


Such initiatives include the establishment of the Ethics College to provide full-time education programmes for voluntary enrolment by adult PICs and a plan to set up parent-child centres in three correctional institutions for male offenders to strengthen their relationships with their families.


Apart from encouraging the graduating officers to guide those who have gone astray back to the right path, Mr Lee urged them to set clear goals and rise up to challenges with courage, so that they will become a new generation of correctional officers who are strongly committed, highly disciplined and staunchly devoted to their duties.

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