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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

470 DC members sworn in

The Government today held an oath-taking ceremony for members of the seventh term District Councils (DCs), during which all 470 DC members promised to uphold the Basic Law and bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
 
Chief Executive John Lee attended the ceremony. Secretary for Home & Youth Affairs Alice Mak served as the oath administrator as authorised by the Chief Executive.
 
Apart from congratulating the DC members on their taking of oaths and assumption of office, Mr Lee outlined four requirements for them.
 
The requirements include upholding the Basic Law and bearing allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR; ensuring effective communication between the Government and the people by serving as a connection between the two; implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” at the district governance level and upholding the important duty of safeguarding national security; and adopting a people-oriented approach to bring tangible improvements to the community.
 
The Chief Executive added that he expects the DC members to facilitate the Government’s implementation of policies in the districts, thereby strengthening district governance to build a better Hong Kong.
 
Based on the principles laid down by the Interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and the relevant legal provisions, the oath administrator determined that the oaths taken by all 470 DC members were valid.


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