The 2016-17 Budget
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Estimates for 2016-17

163.    Last month, the Chief Executive delivered the Policy Address covering a spectrum of policy initiatives which involve $220 billion of expenditure.  I shall ensure that financial resources are adequate to fully support the launch of these initiatives.

164.    Operating expenditure for 2016-17 is estimated to be $380 billion, representing an increase of 11.1 per cent or $38 billion over the revised estimate for 2015-16.  Recurrent expenditure, which accounts for over 90 per cent of operating expenditure, will reach $350 billion, reflecting an increase of 6.7 per cent or $22 billion over the revised estimate for 2015-16.

165.    I forecast that capital expenditure will be $110 billion, including $79 billion on capital works.  With a number of projects at their construction peaks, capital works expenditure is expected to remain at relatively high levels in the next few years.  We are, however, concerned about the slow progress of deliberation in LegCo, resulting in a mounting backlog of funding proposals and delayed commencement of livelihood-related projects.

166.    The civil service establishment is expected to expand by 2 223 posts to 178 495 in 2016-17, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.3 per cent.  This has to do with manpower increase in government departments for implementing new policies and improving existing services.

167.    Total government expenditure is estimated to reach $490 billion in the next financial year, 14 per cent more than that of last year.  Public expenditure will be equivalent to 21.2 per cent of GDP.

168.    Total government revenue for 2016-17 is estimated to be $500 billion, of which earnings and profits tax is estimated at $206 billion.  Land revenue is estimated to be $67 billion.

169.    Taking all these into account, I forecast a surplus of $11 billion in the Consolidated Account in the coming year.  Fiscal reserves are estimated to be $870 billion by the end of March 2017, representing 35.2 per cent of GDP or equivalent to 21 months of government expenditure.


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Last revision date : 24 February 2016