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Public consultation

Gist of the blog:

My friends and members of the public have recently shared with me their views on the coming Budget. Many of them would like the Government to further promote economic development and create more job opportunities.

Responding to these views is never an easy task. Choices have to be made among diverse aspirations given the finite public resources. Also, as policies are interrelated, we have to strike a proper balance and maintain consistency when making policy decision. In some cases, there are also legal constraints limiting the room for discretion, such as the non-viability of Government rent exemption.

I will study with relevant Government bureaux the views received during the consultation and assess their long term implications. Proposals involving substantial changes in policies would be announced in the Policy Address. I will ensure the provision of adequate resources to implement policy initiatives put forth in the Policy Address. Subject to the prevailing social and economic circumstances, I will also initiate suitable measures to promote economic development and to ease the burden on the public.

There are diverging views on whether and how a Government initiative should be modified. Take for an example the recent discussion on whether new restrictions should be imposed on rate concession. Views are diverged among LegCo members of different parties having considered the actual situation, stakeholders' views, as well as the cost of administration. There is no perfect solution for all, but only a balanced decision after thorough consideration of possible solutions, priorities of policy objectives and resources allocation.

Through this consultation, I hope we could better understand the needs of members of community and stakeholders of different sectors. With the collective wisdom of people, we aspire to make improvements, may be even some breakthroughs, under the constraints of resources and reality, planning a brighter future for Hong Kong.


December 23, 2018