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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

DC reform meetings held

The Government held exchange meetings on the theme of improving the district governance system and reforming the District Councils (DCs) at the Central Government Offices today.


Over 80 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and Hong Kong SAR members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) were there to exchange views on improving the district governance system and supporting the District Council election.


Chief Executive John Lee noted that it is the first major citywide election after improving the district governance system and reforming the DCs, and is of particular significance.


He said it also marks the final mile for the full implementation of the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” in the district governance structure.


The Chief Executive also noted that the election is of great significance to the good governance and the long-term stability of the Hong Kong SAR, citizens' well-being and societal harmony.


Mr Lee pointed out that the Hong Kong SAR deputies to the NPC and Hong Kong SAR members of the National Committee of the CPPCC, as members of the country's major institutions and the key force dedicated to the country and Hong Kong, can serve as the powerful leading force of “patriots administering Hong Kong”.


He appealed to all NPC deputies and CPPCC members to mobilise their respective sectors, organisational members, family and friends to encourage the public to cast their votes on polling day on December 10, so as to elect capable, passionate and competent DC members.


Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang supplemented that the Government is working closely with the Electoral Affairs Commission on various preparatory works for the election.


He said a number of new and down-to-earth publicity campaigns have been launched, including the Night Vibes DC Election activities, around 170 DC Election into the Community events; displays of giant advertisements, banners, buntings and posters in various districts of Hong Kong as well as broadcasts of promotional short videos and television series.


Mr Tsang added that the Government will hold District Council Election Fun Day on December 9, the day before the poll. A variety of events will be held across various districts to enhance public awareness and the election's atmosphere.


The Chief Executive announced in the 2023 Policy Address the setting up of a liaison mechanism with the NPC deputies and CPPCC members to enhance communication and collaboration with them, including exchanges and meetings on a regular and non-regular basis.

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