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Executive Council Secretariat's response to media enquiry

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

     In 2007, while briefing the Executive Council on the 2007-08 Budget, the then Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, declared that he had keen interests in wine, and had a substantial collection of wines in Hong Kong and abroad, some of those being dutiable.  Mr Tang stated that he had previously held a wine importing licence, but had given it up before assuming the office as the Financial Secretary, and had not imported wines since then.  Mr Tang also stated that, since the preparation of the 2007-08 Budget started in October 2006, he consumed and purchased wines as usual, and had neither reduced consumption nor deferred purchase despite the possible eventual reduction in duty on alcoholic beverages.  He also declared that he would not import wines during the term of his office as the Financial Secretary and for a year from then.

     The Government announced in the 2007-08 Budget that "the duty rate on beer and other types of liquor containing not more than 30 per cent of alcohol be reduced from the current 40 per cent to 20 per cent, and that on wine from the current 80 per cent to 40 per cent."

Ends/Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:47


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