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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, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at a media session at the Legislative Council Complex after the Financial Secretary presented the Budget today (February 22):

     Just want to say a few words in English. This year's Budget is a well-balanced, comprehensive, pragmatic and forward-looking budget that makes the best use of government resources to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood and also contributes to building a caring, compassionate and cohesive Hong Kong.

     It provides sufficient resources to implement all the 182 new initiatives set out in the 2017 Policy Address. It also covers a package of relief measures to share our economic prosperity with the community, stimulate domestic demand, support the middle class and small and medium enterprises, as well as safeguarding employment.

     The recurrent expenditure for education, welfare and healthcare will still be the main areas of government expenditure, accounting for about 60 per cent of the total, representing an increase of 43 per cent over the past five years.

     The Financial Secretary has adopted a forward-looking approach and earmarked $61 billion out of the higher-than-expected surplus for the long-term development of important policy areas, including $30 billion to provide support to the elderly and the disadvantaged, $20 billion to launch sports and recreation facilities in different districts, $10 billion to promote innovation and technology, $700 million to enhance student and teacher development and finally $300 million for youth development.

     I strongly support this year's Budget and hope the Legislative Council will pass the Appropriation Bill 2017 as soon as possible so as to benefit the entire community.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:59
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