Expect No Bumper Surplus, But No Cuts Either: FS

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2019-02-10 HKT 13:58

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  • In a blog post, Paul Chan (right) says money alone can't fix the city's problems.

    In a blog post, Paul Chan (right) says money alone can't fix the city's problems.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Sunday that the government's budget surplus for the next fiscal year is unlikely to reach the "super high, hundred billion dollar level” recorded in 2018, but this won't mean the administration has to drastically cut spending.

In his blog, Chan said external uncertainties have weakened domestic consumption and exports, and have also undermined businesses' confidence.

But he said temporary economic fluctuations should not affect the city’s long-term development and investments.

Chan said the key is to spend money prudently to try and maintain a fiscal balance in the long-run.

He said he understands that problems like a shortage in housing, public healthcare services and elderly services cannot be solved overnight merely by putting in more money.

The financial secretary said the government must also have the determination, patience and public support to find out the root causes of the problems and to tackle them step by step.

Chan is due to give the government's annual budget speech in Legco on February 27.