The 2017-18 Budget
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Budget Speech

Mr President, Honourable Members and fellow citizens,

        I move that the Appropriation Bill 2017 be read a second time.


2.    When I took over as the Financial Secretary on 16 January this year, the foremost task before me was to prepare the Budget for the coming financial year.  I kept asking myself - What does Hong Kong need most now?  What are citizens' expectations of the Government?  What is our ideal way of life?  How can we attain a sense of well-being?  How do we position Hong Kong as an international city?

3.    I came from a poor family and grew up in the 1960s and 1970s when people in Hong Kong were, in general, happy and satisfied with their lives as long as they had a shelter and got enough to eat and wear.  Hong Kong then saw brisk economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s and after that, two financial crises.  I believe that having gone through these changes, Hong Kong people now crave for more than the basic necessities.  We all want further progress in society, so that young people can cherish hopes for the future, the middle-aged need not worry about the competitiveness of the younger generation, and the elderly will have no fear of abandonment.

4.    It is not beyond our capacity to realise this vision for Hong Kong, but I dare not boast that we can open up a new world for Hong Kong by one Budget alone.  My endeavour is to make use of the wealth we have accumulated together through hard work to take care of the needy in the society, ease the heavy burden of middle-class families, and make appropriate investments essential for building a better Hong Kong.

5.    I understand that people from all walks of life have different expectations of the Budget and hope the Government can respond to their demands.  However, the reality is that resources are not unlimited, and that no Budget can ever meet the needs of each and every member of the community and win applause from all.  We can only devote our best efforts to provide support for those in need, share wealth with the community when there is a substantial surplus and allocate resources to areas which are conducive to our social and economic development.

6.    In the coming year, our economy will be fraught with uncertainties arising from the complicated and volatile external environment.  I hope that with wisdom, collaboration and relentless efforts, we will have the strength to rise to all challenges ahead and embrace the future with hope.



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Last revision date : 22 February 2017