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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

CS receives DC work reports

Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki today chaired the second meeting of the Steering Committee on District Governance, in which he received the work reports on the first meetings of the seventh-term District Councils (DCs) at the 18 districts.

 

The steering committee also formulated strategies at the meeting to address people's concerns at the district level.

 

The seventh-term DCs took office on January 1. Mr Chan was pleased to learn that all the DCs promptly held meetings in the first week after taking office and achieved outcomes.

 

These include establishing committees and working groups in different areas, establishing arrangements of the Meet the Public Scheme, conducting research into issues of district concern, as well as carrying out caring activities and district clean-ups before the Lunar New Year.

 

The DCs have also decided to organise activities to boost the local economy and set up distinctive landmarks with local characteristics.

 

Mr Chan said the Government and the public at large have high expectations for the DCs, with a view to jointly translating the institutional strengths of “patriots administering Hong Kong” into effective governance and opening a new chapter in district governance.

 

He stressed that the District Officers in the 18 districts, as the Chairmen of the new-term DCs, should lead the DCs to fully perform their consultative and service functions.

 

Meanwhile, all 18 DCs should keep district issues close to their hearts, understand people's most imminent concerns and take concrete actions for their wellbeing, Mr Chan added.

 

During the meeting, the steering committee also followed up on the work progress of the five previously identified district issues and discussed two new ones - enhancing the walking experience for citizens and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment; and improving the environment of public housing estates and creating comfortable homes.

 

The Task Force on District Governance will formulate implementation details accordingly.


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