Harbour Fest concert cost taxpayers around HK$100 million, Financial
Secretary Henry Tang said last week.
Officials had earlier insisted that the bill would be much less, but
Mr Tang announced to lawmakers on Saturday that the event incurred
losses equal to the maximum amount the government had pledged it would
The government had already drawn fire for paying the HK$100 million
upfront to the organiser, the American Chamber of Commerce.
Adding to the controversy, the funds were handled by a holding company
owned by the chamber's chairman, James Thompson, and his wife.
Organisers said the holding company received no fees for handling the
money and the Thompsons did not profit.
The government said earlier it would appoint a panel to investigate.
The concert series also was marred by poor ticket sales and flip-flops
over the lineup.
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