Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Miss Denise Yue, in moving the Vote on Account Resolution in the Legislative Council today (March 15):
I move the motion standing in my name in the Agenda.
The purpose of this motion is to seek funds on account to enable the Government to carry on existing services between the start of the financial year on April 1, 2000 and the enactment of the Appropriation Ordinance. This follows the procedure long established in this Council.
We have determined the funds on account sought under each subhead in accordance with paragraph four of the resolution, by reference to percentages of the provision shown in the draft Estimates. If the draft Estimates are changed, by the Finance Committee or officers under delegated powers, the provision to which the percentages are applied will also change accordingly. Thus the provision on account under each head is not constant but may vary, with every increase being matched by an equal decrease. The initial provision on account under each head is shown in the footnote to this speech. The aggregate total under all heads is fixed, however, at $51,648,005,000 and cannot be exceeded without the approval of this Council.
The resolution also enables the Financial Secretary to vary the funds on account in respect of any subhead, provided that these variations do not cause an excess over the amount of provision entered for that subhead in the draft Estimates or an excess over the amount of funds on account for the relevant head.
The Financial Secretary will issue a vote on account warrant to the Director of Accounting Services authorising him to make payments up to the amount specified in this motion and in accordance with its conditions. The vote on account will be subsumed upon the enactment of the Appropriation Ordinance, and the general warrant issued after the enactment of the Appropriation Ordinance will replace the vote on account warrant.
President, I beg to move.
End/Wednesday, March 15, 2000