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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

New DC term will be constructive: CE

Chief Executive John Lee said today that the seventh District Council Election paves the way for a constructive District Council term instead of a destructive one.

Over 1.19 million registered electors cast their votes in the election on December 10.

Ahead of the Executive Council meeting this morning, Mr Lee told reporters that the election had been a successful one.

“I think each election has its own characteristics. Some voters have not come out to vote for different reasons, but obviously those who try to sabotage the election, they still exist. And of course, they will be trying to do anything they can to make the election not successful.

“But the turnout of about 1.2 million voters has indicated that they supported the election. They supported the principles, and they supported the idea that the new District Council will be producing good candidates, good District Council members, for the overall good of each district.”

He added that the most important thing of all is for society to focus on what the election will produce.

“The outcome will be District Council members who will be monitored for their performance to ensure that they do well. Rather than previously, when some District Council members pursued their own political interests, sabotaged the system and reacted against the governance of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government or the central government.”

Mr Lee stressed that the seventh-term District Council members are from different backgrounds, sectors and professions, and that they will be committed to the overall good of residents.

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