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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

Golden Week arrivals to be monitored

Secretary for Culture, Sports & Tourism Kevin Yeung hosted a meeting today to co-ordinate measures for the arrival of visitors to Hong Kong during the Lunar New Year Golden Week.

 

Mr Yeung said the Government will closely monitor the situation of visitor arrivals during Golden Week when major events will be held to appeal to the public and visitors in various Hong Kong spots.

 

He pointed out that various government departments, relevant organisations and the trade will strengthen co-ordination and communication as well as enhance crowd management work to create a good travel experience for visitors.

 

During Golden Week, relevant government departments will strengthen the manpower and co-ordination of transport and cross-boundary services at various control points, including extending the operation hours of specific boundary control points, strengthening crowd management and increasing transport frequency, to enable visitors to enjoy the festival.

 

The Inter-departmental Joint Command Centre set up by Customs, Police, the Immigration Department and other departments will also be activated to monitor the situation at each land control point, in addition to maintaining close liaison with Mainland counterparts and taking contingency actions where necessary.

 

The Security Bureau will activate the Emergency Monitoring & Support Centre in due course to closely monitor and co-ordinate public order in various boundary control points and co-ordinate inter-departmental follow-up action when necessary.

 

The Transport Department's Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre will operate 24 hours as usual to monitor the traffic conditions of different districts, especially the boundary control points and major stations, implement response measures in due course and disseminate the latest traffic information through various channels.



Various District Offices will closely monitor the flow of visitors within their corresponding districts and strengthen management of the relevant spots having regard to the actual circumstances. Various major tourist attractions will also put in place crowd control measures.

 

Customs will step up inspection of shops serving visitors to combat unfair trade practices.

 

Apart from government departments, various tourism-related organisations such as the Travel Industry Authority (TIA), the Tourism Board and hotel industry representatives also attended the meeting.

 

The TIA will deploy additional manpower during Golden Week to conduct inspections in districts where more registered shops for inbound tour groups are located and offer assistance to visitors and tourist guides to protect their rights.


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