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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

6,000 get Newborn Baby Bonus

The Government announced today that it has started to disperse the one-off Newborn Baby Bonus of $20,000 to the first batch of about 6,000 eligible parents.

 

This comes following the completion of the required internal procedures after it obtained the Legislative Council Finance Committee’s funding approval on January 19.

 

The eligible parents’ applications were submitted between October 25 last year and mid-January this year. Upon disbursement, payees will be notified by SMS messages through a designated telephone number, (852) 5928 7409.

 

The Government reminded the public that no hyperlink will be included in the SMS notifications of bonus disbursements, and added that people should stay vigilant against Newborn Baby Bonus scams.

 

Separately, it pointed out that from now on, provided that the information provided by eligible applicants is correct, the applicants will receive the Newborn Baby Bonus via their designated bank account in about two to three weeks from the time of application.


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