To be people-oriented and achieve stability while pursuing progress
After months of preparation, the Budget for the next financial year will be announced this Wednesday. The COVID-19 epidemic situation in Hong Kong has been deteriorating drastically and the virus is spreading quickly in the community in recent months, threatening the lives and health of Hong Kong people and bringing severe impact on economic activities and social operation. Taking into account the anti-epidemic need, I will announce the last Budget of the current-term Government through online Legislative Council meeting.
The fifth wave of the epidemic is developing rapidly in Hong Kong. Our economy, which was originally on the track of recovery since last year, has come under great pressure and many people are frustrated or even being trapped in difficult situation. The situation has changed radically from that at the initial Budget consultation period. We should cope with the challenges proactively and deploy sufficient resources to fight the epidemic. At the same time, we have to make our best effort to relieve the burden of citizens and small and medium enterprises to boost confidence, while making mid- to long-term planning for economic development and safeguarding Hong Kong’s economic and financial security.
|Taking into account the anti-epidemic need, I will announce the Budget for the next financial year through online Legislative Council meeting, and I have rehearsed for that in recent days.
We have to address both internal and external challenges with the concerted and all-out efforts of the whole society. Internally, we have to curb the latest wave of epidemic as soon as possible, which is crucial to the health of citizens, the maintenance of public services, people’s livelihoods, as well as the overall normal operation of social and economic activities. Externally, as a small and fully open economy, Hong Kong could be easily affected by the complicated and volatile international political and economic environment. The associated market fluctuation and risks necessitate our precautionary actions.
Looking back, Hong Kong has overcome many difficulties. With the staunch support of the Central Authorities, we will have more resolved determination and confidence and will take actions more decisively. There is no problem that could not be solved and we will find feasible solutions. While we have already got favourable conditions, we must create suitable environment and find the right way to achieve the goal.
The cover colour of the upcoming Budget reflects our thought in the course of preparation. Soil may not have a colourful appearance, but it could provide rich nutrients to nurture the growth of trees. Every tree needs to be deeply rooted in the earth to thrive. With the arrangement of “One Country, Two Systems” and our dedicated efforts, I believe we can build a brighter future for Hong Kong, our home.
February 20, 2022