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Hong Kong Budget 2013

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah delivered his sixth budget speech on February 27, 2013, in which he unveiled HK$33 billion worth of relief measures and forecasted a surplus of about HK$64.9 billion for the 2012-13 financial year. Economic growth was expected to come in 1.5 to 3.5 per cent in 2013.

NewsHong Kong

Meeting budget deadline impossible, Jasper Tsang warns

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 May, 2013, 5:24am

The budget bill could not be passed by Wednesday even if the weeks-long filibuster ended, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing said last night.

Officials have warned that funding for public services would be disrupted the next day.

Tsang said the bill could not be tabled for a final vote unless the four filibustering lawmakers withdrew the 700 amendments delaying it.

Otherwise, even if the filibuster ended - an option legislators are expected to discuss today - the proposed amendments would still have to be tabled for a vote one by one. This made it impossible for the bill to be voted on by Wednesday, Tsang said.

"I have come up with … ideas [to handle the situation]. I must … consult [all opinions]," he said.

Lawmaker Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said he believed Tsang would announce that he was putting an end to the filibuster, which would be followed by time for lawmakers to discuss it.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah wrote on his blog that electricity subsidies and public-housing rent waivers scheduled for July to September would be delayed, adding the filibuster was "unbearable".

The filibustering lawmakers - from pro-democracy radical groups People Power and the League of Social Democrats - had hoped to use the tactic to secure a universal pension scheme.

Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit opposed any move to end the filibuster, saying it would be contrary to public interest. "Each time a filibuster is ended [by the Legco president], it diminishes Legco's power. In the end, we wouldn't be able to be good gatekeepers for Hongkongers," he said.

Pro-government Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin asked the four lawmakers to drop the filibuster themselves.

Even the Equal Opportunities Commission, a statutory body, has stepped into the debate. Chairman Dr York Chow Yat-ngok said the salaries of the body's 80 staff were at risk.

People Power's filibustering lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen said: "It is the government, not us, that is reluctant to solve the problem."


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This article is now closed to comments

Inane comments from legal eagle formerly from Norton Rose about powers being eroded. Forget the gold medal from a midlands U, the key here is whether the filibuster is 'gate-keeping'.
The obstreperousness is not about the budget itself but an attempt to introduce new spending proposals on their own agenda, which most Hongkongers do not support, and virtually force the government to adopt their policy, that is dictate to the Finance Secretary how to spend the money.
We have a Finance chief who makes a reasonable proposal and he should never set a precedent to 'negotiate' the budget with any one, let alone a bunch of mindless agitators who don't mind wasting our money by blocking the funding with some populist proposals while living in luxury on our money. Makes you sick and puke.
Spineless!!! What is the President there for if not to maintain order and ensure government works -I don't mean support the CE and Ministers, I mean government by the LEGCO.
For Gods sake this is a government not fun game and NO GOVERNMENT should be held hostage to demands by 4 nitwits who think they are smart and amusing. Its sickening and it goes on from one to the next issue whether big or small. In allowing the filibuster to go on, the President is showing how useless he could be. Don't tell me about reasonable leash for the opponents. They are not incapable of reason. They are making new demands and insisting the government adopt them - criminal mentality mistaken for talent and sincere conviction. I could go on but they are not worth the effort.
hard times !
If as William Shakespeare,our lives are just like dramas: we play different roles on earth.Now both jasper Tsang Yuk-shing (the president of the Legco) and lawmaker,Long-hair have both played their roles well.Long Hair and his colleagues have successfully staged their filibustering for 10 days ! They can be accountable to their voters while Jasper Tsang has allowed them to stage the filibustering for 10 days------demonstrating his respect towards the rights of the lawmakers to express themselves and his allowance of a rightful act----filibustering though it might threaten the administration's financial situation ! No wonder Long Hair pleasantly placed his palms on Jasper's shoulders while the latter did not object and looked quite satisfied with it ! What a play indeed ! The losers are the other pan-democarts in the Legco and the pro-establishment lawmakers only !
Longhair and People Power crowd get 86k a month + + as Legco members
They also carry the title 'Honorable'
Two honorable fools were ejected yesterday
When they are thrown out they should be fined and each time they are thrown out the fine should double - we will then see that they will toe the line as it is easier to play games in Legco or outside it rather, than running a noodle shop in Mongkok where if you are locked out you have no business.
@ Jasper Tsang "Tsang said the bill could not be tabled for a final vote unless the four filibustering lawmakers withdrew the 700 amendments delaying it." ~~~~ is it reasonable or normal for such an act by these filibusters?


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