The 2017-18 Budget
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Budget Speech

Concluding Remarks

183.    Mr President, some people say that making money is a kind of skill, sustaining business is a branch of knowledge, and spending money is a matter of art.  As a government, it is our responsibility to take a forward-looking perspective and promote social and economic development; it is our duty to exercise fiscal prudence and save for the unpredictable future; and it is our moral obligation to relieve people's hardship and support the needy.

184.    Many people may only focus on the expenditure and revenue parts of the Budget.  But to me, the Budget is not just a collection of cold and hard figures.  It also indicates the priorities set by the Government in resource allocation, reflecting the values we hold.

185.    How to mobilise resources effectively to achieve the aims of building a fair, just, caring and inclusive society that embraces pluralistic values, and turning Hong Kong into a low-carbon, more liveable, smart, resilient and sustainable city is really a formidable challenge for us.  As I have just said, it is a vision that takes not only one or two Budgets, or even one or two terms of government, to accomplish.  It is indeed a journey that we should take on together, and a goal that needs to be achieved through the concerted efforts of our community.

186.    What are our expectations of the Government nowadays?  What is our ideal way of life?  How can we attain a sense of well-being?  Many Hong Kong people, in particular the younger generation, would answer: Happiness in life is not about earning a living, but about having the freedom to pursue higher ends.  They want to have room and opportunities to realise their dreams while doing jobs that suit their interests.  They want to have a decent place to live in so that they can start their own family.  They want to preserve and conserve the nature and our cultural heritage, as well as enrich their lives by exploring arts and culture.  This reflects the pluralistic values of our society, the upholding of which deserves our joint efforts.

187.    As in previous years, I will set aside financial resources to fully support the launch of various policy initiatives announced in the Policy Address.  Amid global political and economic uncertainties, we must invest for the future in a bid to enhance our overall competitiveness, apart from deploying resources to improve people's livelihood.  Through consolidating our pillar industries, as well as nurturing industries over which we have advantages and emerging industries, we could explore new areas of economic growth and create quality and diversified employment opportunities.  Only by so doing can Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient, continue to gleam and glitter.

188.    Born and grown up in Hong Kong, I love this city as much as all of you do.  Over the past decades, Hong Kong encountered numerous difficulties and challenges that caused confusion and anxiety among our people.  Yet, time and again, we were able to weather the storm and see the sunshine on the other side.

189.    I strongly believe that Hong Kong people have the courage, wisdom and ability to overcome all difficulties.  Together, we can rise to challenges ahead and scale new heights, while sustaining the legend of Hong Kong.

190.    Thank you, Mr President.



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Last revision date : 22 February 2017