CHIEF executive candidate Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (林鄭月娥) promised to spend more on education, subsidise housing for first time flat buyers and to cut taxes.
Detailing her electoral platform, Lam advocated an increase in recurrent education expenditure by HK$5 billion a year – a 6.7 percent rise from the current annual budget of HK$74.7 billion.
She said that since the handover, education expenditure had not risen in line with economic growth as it was only 21.5 percent of the gross domestic product.
“It’s a cash-rich government. It could afford to spend more for the people. It’s time to spend and invest in the right place to nurture our younger generation.”
She said the funding boost would create permanent teaching posts, establish a pay scale, enhance assistance for special education, and subsidise high school graduates. Lam said the measures would create a stable environment for teachers and ease students’ workload.
Lam also proposed a pro.t tax cut to relieve the burden of small and medium-sized enterprises. She also proposes a ‘super’ tax incentive to encourage more investments.
With a financial surplus of over HK$900 billion – enough to let the government run for two years without revenue – we have enough to reduce revenue and spend more, she said.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 20 February 2017)
Government expenditure for education
2017 Policy Address: Education and youth development