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ExCo member's remarks on Budget

The following is issued on behalf of the Executive Council Secretariat:

     Executive Council members, Mr Leung Chun-ying, Mr Cheng Yiu-tong, Mrs Laura Cha, Mr Charles Lee, Dr Leong Che-hung, Dr Marvin Cheung, Mr Henry Fan and Professor Anthony Cheung met the media on the 2006-2007 Budget at the Legislative Council Building this (February 22) afternoon. Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the convenor of the non-official members of the Executive Council, Mr Leung Chun-ying:.

Reporter: Can you say a few words in English?

Mr Leung : With the continued and sustained economic recovery, and based on the understanding and support of the members of the civil service, the Government in the last few years is able to firstly increase revenue and also achieve expenditure cut. Therefore the past financial year is the first of the last eight financial years that we have a balanced budget. We even have achieved a small surplus. This is in line with the obligation that stated in the Basic Law.

Looking ahead, the economy ahead is still not entirely without uncertainties and the room for further cut in public expenditure is comparatively smaller. Therefore we still have to take a rather prudent and caution approach in public finance management. One could see in this Budget proposal that the Financial Secretary is continuing with the philosophy of prudent financial management. At the same time, we are able to share the benefit of this policy íV the principle of prudent financial management in the past few years, and therefore we are able to propose a cut in tax and other government income. So the Non-official Members of the Executive Council welcome this proposal and hope that the community at large, and members of the Legislative Council will support this proposal. Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Issued at HKT 16:17