The public consultation on the Budget was launched today (17th), and Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po predicted that the deficit in this financial year could slightly exceed $1000 billion, which was higher than the more than $570 billion predicted when the Budget was announced at the beginning of the year. Looking ahead to next year, Chan said that the geopolitical situation remains complex and volatile, and the economic growth rate of Hong Kong and the asset market-related income will not recover quickly, which cannot erase the opportunity for continued deficits in the next year.


With the launch of a public consultation on the Budget, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po predicts that the deficit in this financial year may exceed $1000 billion, up from the more than $570 billion forecast when the Budget was announced at the beginning of the year. (Public Consultation Announcements in the Public Interest on Budget)

Public finances are under pressure and spending needs to be consolidated and controlled

The Budget will be announced on February 2 next year, and Chan Mo-po said in a blog post today, mentioning that the external environment is full of challenges, government expenditure has increased significantly in the past few years, and the future public finances are also under pressure.

With the launch of a public consultation on the Budget, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po predicts that the deficit in this financial year may exceed $1000 billion, up from the more than $570 billion forecast when the Budget was announced at the beginning of the year. (Public Consultation Announcements in the Public Interest on Budget)

Chen Maobo expects a deficit of slightly more than 1 billion yuan, and the deficit may continue in the next year

Chan Mo-po said that due to the impact of continued high global interest rates, geopolitics and supply chain layout adjustment, Hong Kong's economic growth momentum has been under pressure, the asset market has continued to be weak, and government revenue has also been affected. Among them, stamp duty from stock and property transactions, as well as income from land premium, have decreased significantly compared with the estimate at the beginning of this year. In 2023-24, the consolidated fiscal deficit is expected to slightly exceed $1 billion, up from the $000 billion forecast in the Budget earlier this year, after taking into account the proceeds from bond issuance. Chan Mo-po said that looking forward to next year, the geopolitical situation will still be complex and volatile, and the rate of economic growth in Hong Kong will be curbed, and it will be difficult for income related to the asset market to recover quickly, and the opportunity for continued deficits in the next fiscal year cannot be erased.

Reduced departmental recurrent expenditure by 1% in the two financial years

Excluding the anti-epidemic measures and the counter-cyclical measures introduced to stabilise the economy during the epidemic, government expenditure increased by about 2017% from over $18 billion in 4-700 to over $40 billion in 2022-23, far outpacing the growth of government revenue during the same period, during which the government ran a three-year deficit and fiscal reserves fell from $6,600.11 billion to $029.8 billion. Mr Chan said that the Government would continue to maintain zero growth in the civil service establishment this year, and that bureaux and departments would need to save 348 per cent of their recurrent expenditure in 2024-25 and another 1 per cent in 2025-26, and that the resources saved would be redeployed to improve and launch new public services.

The Hong Kong government's annual fiscal deficit is expected to exceed 2 billion yuan Chen Maobo pointed out that whether to raise taxes must take into account the burden of citizens and enterprises, the General Chamber of Commerce expects economic growth to slow down to 9.5% next year, retail sales growth narrowed to 2.3%, and the government lowered Hong Kong's economic growth forecast to 2.<>% this year