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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

Crowds wowed by Inter Miami CF

Major League Soccer Team Inter Miami CF commenced their second day in Hong Kong where they took to the field for an open training session at Hong Kong Stadium in the evening. 


Before the training began, numerous fans eagerly waited outside, donning their favourite player's jerseys and purchasing souvenirs.


Even though it was not an official match, the fervour of the fans remained unbridled.


Deputy Chief Secretary Cheuk Wing-hing welcomed the team on behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government before the training session started.

 
The Hong Kong SAR Government has allocated 15,000 complimentary tickets to be distributed among members of different sports and youth organisations, allowing them to witness the exciting event. 


Eleven-year-old student Chan Lok-fung from the EACT Jockey Club Active School Programme was one of the lucky fans who got to meet his football idol, Lionel Messi. 


"The feeling in the stadium is very good. I am so happy seeing (Lionel) Messi. I think I have learnt a lot of things from Messi because in his passing in the middle of the stadium, I saw Messi passing very fast and smooth, so the defenders could not tackle quickly."


Chan Chung-yan, a participant of the Social Welfare Department's Strive & Rise Programme, also got a free ticket. She expressed gratitude for the complimentary pass and emphasised that she was inspired by how Messi, despite being diagnosed with a growth disorder, has overcome obstacles to make glorious achievements.


Hong Kong Elite Athletes Association Chairman Amy Chan described the training session as positive encouragement for youth athletes.

 

"This training session is very, very important. The youths will feel more happy because they can feel that their country is doing a lot of things for them, and they will feel a sense of belonging to Hong Kong and also to our country. They can aspire, in the future, to become good athletes too."


She added that she hopes the Government will organise even more similar events for youngsters.


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