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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

Fire services recruitment tests revised

The Fire Services Department (FSD) today announced that from December 1, the entry requirements for Station Officer (Operational), Ambulance Officer, Fireman/Firewoman (Operational/Marine) and Ambulanceman/Ambulancewoman will be adjusted.


The passing mark for test items in the physical fitness test will be revised and the time limit for test items will be extended. Inclined chin-ups will be introduced as an optional test item for candidates in the physical fitness test.


The eyesight test requirement will also be revised and candidates may choose to wear spectacles during the test. This revision is only applicable to Station Officer (Operational) and Fireman/Firewoman (Operational/Marine).


The FSD pointed out that it has always upheld the principle of meritocracy and from time to time reviews its recruitment policy to ensure candidates of the highest calibre are selected.


Upon review, the department considered there was room for adjusting the eyesight test and physical fitness test requirements to attract a greater number of capable applicants.


Successful candidates must undergo 26 weeks of rigorous foundation training and meet the physical fitness standards required by the FSD. These standards will remain unchanged, hence rescue work will not be affected.


The department added that it will organise activities to publicise the adjusted entry requirements.

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