RETIRING Financial Secretary Sir Hamish Macleod and his successor will get a 27 per cent increase in entertainment allowances.
But according to acting Deputy Secretary for the Treasury Mike Rowse, Sir Hamish could have got an even heftier boost had he not objected to an original proposal to link the allowances to Governor Chris Patten's.
Sir Hamish, who will announce his farewell Budget on March 1, will get $276,000 a year for entertainment from April, up from $219,600 during this financial year.
Mr Rowse told the South China Morning Post yesterday he had originally proposed bringing Sir Hamish's allowance to $300,000, equalling 50 per cent of Mr Patten's $600,000.
Under the proposal, the Chief Secretary, Anson Chan Fang On-sang, will get an allowance equalling 60 per cent of the Governor while both the Chief Justice and Sir Hamish get 50 per cent. The Attorney-General's entertainment allowance would equal 30 per cent of Mr Patten's.
'In the past, he was so mean with himself and he always reduced [the allowance]. He doesn't accept the recommendation to be 50 per cent and he cut it down to 46 per cent [of the Governor's],' Mr Rowse said, referring to Sir Hamish.