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Hong Kong Legco Chief Calls For Tax 'Flexibility'

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

12 December 2001


Eric Li Ka-cheung, head of the Legislative Council's (Legco) Breakfast Group of non-affiliated lawmakers, has urged Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung to allow for some flexibility in the next Budget in March next year.

After a meeting with Mr Leung, Mr Li told the South China Morning Post that they had discussed the territory's fiscal status and said he had urged the government to provide economic relief to taxpayers but at the same time not raise taxes by a considerable amount. Otherwise, he warned, the budget deficit currently estimated at $60 billion will increase.

'We have told him we are willing to consider a revenue-neutral package - it's not the case that he can neither introduce increases nor reductions,' he said. New taxes could be implemented in exchange for other concessions.

Mr Li recommended to the Financial Secretary that he could focus more on new taxes such as soccer betting duty, a land departure tax and a foreign labour levy.


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