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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

Fatal incident prosecutions initiated

The Buildings Department (BD) said today that following completion of an investigation, it has initiated four prosecutions over a steel segment collapse incident which caused the death of one worker at a Yau Tong construction site. 

 

The incident occurred at a construction site on Tung Yuen Street on December 14, 2022.

 

The subject steel segment was part of the temporary lateral support to facilitate the excavation works for the construction of a basement. After the basement structure was completed, the lateral support including the steel segment would then be dismantled.

 

The department noted that its probe revealed that adequate precautionary measures were not provided by the relevant contractor, sub-contractors and individual persons directly concerned with the incident during dismantling of the steel segment, resulting in its collapse and the fatal incident.

 

After consulting the Department of Justice, the BD has initiated four prosecutions against the contractor, sub-contractors and individuals directly concerned, which involves two companies and two individuals.

 

The hearing is scheduled for January 16, 2024.

 

The BD refused the concerned general building contractor Aggressive Construction Engineering's application for renewal of registration on October 18 and its name was removed from the Register of General Building Contractors on November 16.

 

For the subject case, the Labour Department has initiated prosecution against the relevant duty holders. The trial is adjourned to January 11, 2024.


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