CE's statement on 2017-18 Budget

     The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, today (February 22) issued the following statement on the 2017-18 Budget:

     The Financial Secretary today delivered the Budget Speech for 2017-18, providing financial resources to support the implementation of initiatives announced in my Policy Address in January. These initiatives will enable the current-term Government to further fulfil its pledges including supporting the development of innovation and technology, increasing land supply, alleviating poverty, caring for the elderly, supporting the disadvantaged and improving the livelihood of the grassroots.

     I very much agree with the objectives and approach of public finances raised by the Financial Secretary in the Budget - to mobilise resources effectively, develop the economy and improve livelihood to build a fair, just, caring and inclusive society that embraces pluralistic values, as well as to invest for the future, turning Hong Kong into a low-carbon, more liveable, smart, resilient and sustainable city.

     Having regard to the current economic situation, the complicated and uncertain global political and economic climate in the coming year, as well as the Government’s fiscal surplus, the Financial Secretary has introduced a series of measures, such as reducing salaries tax and tax under personal assessment, reducing profits tax, and other concession measures that will share the fruits of our economic development with members of the public, stimulate domestic demand, stabilise the economy and support the employment market. On the other hand, the Financial Secretary will take a forward-looking approach to put the surplus to good use, by earmarking resources to strengthen residential care and rehabilitation services for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and to promote the development of innovation and technology, youth and sports, etc.

     The Financial Secretary also proposed to consolidate the competitiveness of our pillar industries, set up a committee on innovation and technology development and re-industrialisation, as well as a tax policy unit to better respond to the world’s ever-changing economic environment and competition. While strengthening our pillar industries, we will strongly support the development of industries over which we have advantages as well as emerging industries to further diversify our economy. It will create more quality opportunities for our younger generation and entrepreneurs to fulfil their aspirations.

     I hope the Legislative Council and the public will support this Budget.

Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:00