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Exco Members' remarks on Budget (with video)

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

     Executive Council members, Mr Leung Chun-ying, Mr Cheng Yiu-tong, Mr Andrew Liao, Mr Charles Lee, Mr Ronald Arculli, Dr Leong Che-hung, Mr Henry Fan and Professor Anthony Cheung met the media on the 2007-2008 Budget at the Legislative Council Building this (February 28) afternoon. Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) by Mr Leung Chun-ying and Mr Ronald Arculli:

Reporter: Do you think that the Budget initiatives have alleviated the pressure on the middle class and the poor?

Mr Leung: It is a pragmatic Budget and, in fact, is a generous one.  I think it has considered the needs of all sectors of the community based on the principle of prudent fiscal management policy. I think the Budge deserved the support from our community.

Reporter: Do you think that the Budget...... is election-related?

Mr Leung: This is a generous proposal. But I have to say that the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, has a very high degree of autonomy. The Budget is his budget. He has the ownership of the Budget. I do not see any connection between his Budget and the election.

Reporter: Mr Arculli, do you see any danger for the Government to give so many ˇ§sweetsˇ¨ to the public?

Mr Arculli: I think the Budget and the volatility of the stock market have no connection. If you look at the Budget today, while Mr Leung has said that it was very pragmatic and generous package, in fact, three quarters of the relief measures -- the one-off measures, of the total of about 20 billion dollars, we are talking about 15 billion dollars -- are only for one year. I think that is a very good and sound approach.

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

Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:35


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