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Transcript of remarks by CS on Budget (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session at Legislative Council Complex after Financial Secretary presented the Budget today (February 24):

Reporter: Chief Secretary, do you mind commenting in English? Do you think the FS”¦ Budget adequately addresses the needs that Hong Kong people have at the moment?

Chief Secretary for Administration: Well, I think every budget has to strike a pragmatic balance between maintaining the fiscal prudence, which is very important for Hong Kong, and also addressing the needs of the people of Hong Kong. I have said many times that this term of the SAR Government is very much committed to promoting the welfare of the elderly people and the disadvantaged, and the best figure to demonstrate that is the growth in the welfare expenditure. Since the year 2012/13 and that is the first year when this term of government began, and up till the current financial year, welfare recurrent expenditure has already grown by 40 per cent, which is much higher than the overall expenditure growth. And in the next financial year, that is the 2016/17 Budget, the welfare recurrent expenditure will grow by 13.4 per cent, to a total amount of $66.2 billion. This is almost doubling the overall growth of the government recurrent expenditure, and it will account for 19 per cent of the total government recurrent expenditure. So I think the figures speak for themselves that this government is very much concerned about the welfare of the elderly, about alleviating poverty and about the disadvantaged people.

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

Ends/Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:10


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