FS speaks on public consultation on tax reform (With Photo)

    Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, after attending a radio programme this morning (July 20):

Reporter: So far there is a lot of criticism and major political parties have actually called against it. Are you worried that it will be a repeat of the government's constitutional reform that the lawmakers will vote against your package?

Financial Secretary: First of all, I am not surprised at the reaction. Hong Kong is very much like most other economies that upon the discussion of a tax reform, most people will have very strong feelings about it. This is totally within our expectation. Secondly, we have launched a consultation. We are not tabling a piece of legislation that requires voting. Therefore, it is not an issue of whether it will pass the LegCo (Legislative Council) or whether it won't. But I hope through the whole discussion process, we will be able to get a better idea of the areas that people are most concerned about, and at the same time, it will be a very useful discussion because people will get a better understanding of what is a fair share of tax burden.

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

Ends/Thursday, July 20, 2006
Issued at HKT 13:03