Tax experts roundly criticised the Budget yesterday, saying it offered taxpayers 'more flash than cash'. Economists and accountants attending a Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce luncheon said Wednesday's Budget indicated the Government was working to turn around the economy. They said, however, that in dollar terms, the concessions offered little relief to taxpayers. Price Waterhouse senior tax partner Rod Houng-Lee said Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen offered 'more flash than cash', and 'definitely got a big bang for his buck'. 'To say that a half per cent decrease in profits tax is going to make us more competitive over places like Singapore lacks intellectual credibility,' he said. KPMG Peat Marwick partner Roderic Sage said he was especially disappointed the Government left out corporate group relief and corporate borrowings from overseas associates from the list of tax concessions. Mr Sage said he had been pushing the Government to allow companies to set-off losses by subsidiaries inside a corporate group against earnings by other units. This would provide a better picture of overall profitability. 'The Government has been hesitant, though, saying it could open up a lot of abuse,' he said. Mr Sage also said allowing tax deductions for companies borrowing from their own overseas units would enable them to better fund themselves and stimulate corporate growth. Mr Houng-Lee said the Government's tight expenditure growth probably reflected its concern that property-related revenue would fall next year, given the sector's downturn. He said profits tax from property firms alone made up 34 per cent of government revenue. Total income from property - including public land auction and sales, land premium income and salaries tax from the property sector - is estimated to comprise two-thirds of government revenue. Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce chief economist Ian Perkin said the Budget might actually be illegal, under the terms of the Basic Law. Mr Perkin said Article 107 of the Basic Law required governments to avoid deficits but, at the same time, strive for balanced budgets.