Liberals pitch bonds to finance mega Lantau project

Local | 16 Sep 2020 1:26 pm

Liberal Party leader Felix Chung has called on the government to issue bonds to fund the Lantau Tomorrow project after critics called for the reclamation plan to be dropped due to falling fiscal reserves, RTHK reports.

The comments by Chung came after the government revealed on Tuesday that reserves would drop to HK$800 billion after another round of anti-epidemic relief funds.

Speaking on an RTHK radio program, the Liberal Party leader acknowledged that the administration is having difficulty pushing for the HK$600 billion Lantau Tomorrow plan because of its financial situation, and suggested raising bonds to fund the ambitious project.

Chung said that if the scheme is not approved, there will be a shortage of land to build homes.

Support for the Lantau Tomorrow project was also echoed by the head of another pro-establishment party, Business and Professionals Alliance chair Lo Wai-kwok, who said the important thing right now was to boost the economy as the coronavirus situation in Hong Kong eases.

Lo, who represents the engineering sector in Legco, stressed the need for people to "get back to work,'' such as allowing construction projects like Lantau Tomorrow to go ahead, and even allowing homes to be built on green belt areas in Hong Kong.

Critics of the plan have also made their voices heard.

Greenpeace has urged lawmakers not to approve a feasibility study for the project, saying it would leave the SAR out of money and could drain the city's fiscal reserves within 11 years.

The group's senior campaigner, Kate Lin, argued why they're against the feasibility study. "It is like giving a green light to the overall reclamation project, which is bad to our Hong Kong marine ecology environment, as well as the public finance of this city."

Legco is due to resume next month and the item of spending around HK$500 million for the study is expected to resume debate.

 

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