CE's statement on 2015-16 Budget

     The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, today (February 25) issued the following statement on the 2015-16 Budget:

     The Financial Secretary has just delivered the Budget speech for 2015-16. This Budget reaffirms the agenda of the current-term Government - only with a robust economy can the Government and the overall community have the financial capacity to address the major problems of Hong Kong including housing, poverty, the environment and an aging population.

     In the past year, Hong Kong experienced modest economic growth and full employment while keeping inflation under control. With an impressive economic performance, the Government has recorded substantial surpluses, creating favourable conditions for the Government to roll out relief measures for the community. The Budget proposes measures such as the reduction of salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profits tax for 2014-15; waiving rates for the first two quarters of 2015-16; and the provision of two additional months of allowance to recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance and Disability Allowance.

     Revenue from profits tax in this financial year is 15.8 per cent higher than the original estimate. This reflects relatively higher profits with a more favourable business environment. I appeal to employers of all sectors to improve the pay conditions of their employees whenever possible to share the prosperity.

     As I have pointed out in my Policy Address, taking the continuous economic development and full employment in recent years for granted, some people have underestimated the importance of economic growth. This calls for vigilance. Faced with an economic slowdown in the Mainland and uncertainties in economies worldwide, we should remain careful.

     The Government will continue to boost the economy with a view to improving people's livelihood. We will make new and greater efforts to achieve sustainable economic development by making good use of Hong Kong's unique role as the "super-connector" between the Mainland and other parts of the globe, and increase employment opportunities and enhance upward mobility for the young generation.

     I hope the Legislative Council and the public will support this Budget. In particular, I hope there will not be filibustering on the examination of the Budget, which would only defer the time of benefiting the community.

Ends/Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:40