MSAR’s 2018 budget to increase

Lionel Leong

The Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong announced last week that the SAR’s budget will increase next year. Although he did not disclose any figures, he assured that the surplus would be “reasonable.”

The official said that they are still waiting to receive further updates from the public services, which are updating the expenses relating to works and acquisition of new equipment.

The proposal will be presented to the Legislative Assembly in November and Leong expects an increase in both the city’s revenue and expenditure.

According to Leong, Typhoon Hato is a significant contributor to the surge in next year’s fiscal budget, as the government also needs human resources for the civil service.

“Public services should meet the society’s requirements [and so] human resources and other sectors need improvement,” the official told the press on the sidelines of a ceremony.

“Some entities or associations’ facilities recorded damages from Hato, and it needed us to increase the budget,” he added.

Leong also assured that social support and benefits will be “well maintained.”

When questioned about the speed of the approval of the request to transfer gaming tables to Cham Meng Kam’s new casino – Red Dragon, operating under the SJM license – the official explained the sequence of events.  He stated that he and Chief Executive Chui Sai On had signed the approval documents after the director of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Paulo Martins Chan, told reporters that the application was still under review.  Chan’s comments were made only a few hours before the signing and caused some confusion among members of the public.

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