Branch's budget cut by $14m

THE Recreation and Culture Branch's spending power is to be slashed by more than $14 million under the Budget's government departmental expenditure review.

With its budget cut to $83.2 million, the government secretariat said the Hongkong-Canada cultural festival and two commissioned consultancy reports on broadcasting resulted in bigger expenditure last year.

Peat Marwick and Associates was brought in to help draw up the broadcasting review and assess the lone bid for the pay-TV franchise submitted by Wharf Cable.

The branch's deputy secretary, Mrs Rachel Cartland, said there were ''some exceptional items which are not going to be repeated in the next financial year''.