Ending of budget filibuster in sight

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 1:34am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 1:34am

People Power lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip gave a speech to an empty Legislative Council chamber yesterday during the final hours of the marathon debate on the budget bill.

Voting on 1,192 amendments began last night, more than three weeks after the debate began. 

The seession was adjourned at 11pm, after 88 amendments were voted down, and will continue on Wednesday.

Most of the amendments to the budget bill were filed by two People Power lawmakers and "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats. They call on the government to deliver on a universal pension scheme and give a direct cash handout to all Hong Kong people.

It is expected that the voting process will need at least three more days to complete.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying previously accused radical lawmakers of "hijacking the will of the majority of lawmakers and residents", saying their attempt to delay the passage of the government's budget has hurt Hong Kong’s competitiveness and “deeply disgusted” the public.

Leung said numerous proposals, including an allowance for low-income working families, an increase in the kindergarten vouchers subsidy, a medical allowance for elderly people and an extra allowance for social security recipients, could be delayed by the filibuster.