Lawmaker Sulu Sou has asked the government to explain the reasoning behind big budget increases for celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the handover in particular.
“I believe that, in the name of the handover celebration, public funds, which will be spent across all kinds of activities, related projects and human resources, will be countless. It is worth examining which expenditures may not be necessary,” Sou wrote in his inquiry to the government.
The 2019 budget for the Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office was increased by 131.5 percent, from MOP76 million this year to MOP176 million.
“The government explained that it [the budget] serves to bear the budgets for preparing a series of activities for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the handover,” Sou wrote, listing other budget increases also justified using the 20th anniversary of the handover.
“In view of the facts that the budget of many departments, for instance, the Protocol Office, surged by 100 million simply because of the handover celebration, and that other departments and autonomous organizations have also seen a significant increase in the budget related to the handover celebration, how will the government review the relevant budget expenditures in line with the principle of no waste?” Sou asked.
“May I ask the SAR government to summarize the respective budget amounts of the departments and the autonomous organizations related to the handover celebration and also the total amount?” Sou asked.