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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

Lai-see advisory issued

As the Chinese New Year draws near, the Monetary Authority announced that new notes and good-as-new notes will be available for exchange at the branches of the three note-issuing banks from January 25 to February 9.

 

It also encouraged the public to use electronic channels such as the Faster Payment System or other e-wallet services for giving lai-see.

 

The note-issuing banks, ie Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) and Bank of China (Hong Kong), will put in place appropriate measures to facilitate the notes exchange, including advancing opening hours, dedicating additional operation hours for the notes exchange, and offering an online booking service.


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