|(2014-15 Budget) Spending reined in
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah laid out lower government spending for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Operating expenditure for the year is estimated at HK$325 billion, down 4.1 percent from the revised estimate for 2013-14. The decrease comes from the reduction of one-off relief measures and one-off injections into funds for designated uses.
Recurrent expenditure is HK$307.4 billion, or more than 94 percent of operating expenditure, up 7.8 percent from the revised estimate for 2013-14.
Recurrent expenditure on welfare for 2014-15 will reach HK$56.9 billion, up 9.7 percent from the pervious year.
Total capital expenditure for 2014-15 is expected at HK$86.2 billion, including HK$70.8 billion on capital works.
All these will bring the total government expenditure to HK$411.2 billion, down 5.7 percent from last year, Tsang said.
''Public expenditure will be equivalent to 19.8 percent of GDP,'' he said.
Total government revenue for 2014-15 was projected at HK$430.1 billion, Tsang noted. Earnings and profits tax will be the major sources of revenue, estimated at HK$177.5 billion.
Land revenue is expected to be HK$70 billion.
A surplus of HK$9.1 billion was forecast for 2014-15, with fiscal reserves at HK$755 billion by the end of March 2015.
Reserves represent 34 percent of GDP, and is equivalent to 22 months of government spending.