Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is preparing for an uphill battle with lawmakers over diesel charges. 'I'm having a very tough fight with the provisional legislature,' he said yesterday at a business lunch. Major political parties have threatened to veto the proposed six per cent rise when the interim body debates the Budget tomorrow. The financial chief said the 'minor' adjustment was affordable. 'I think it can protect the environment and the community can afford it.' But Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong chairman Tsang Yok-sing said the Treasury could afford to do without the revenue from the increase. 'Mr Tsang has said he will not levy more than [is needed]. I think the loss of some $200 million from diesel tax increases is minimal compared to a projected surplus of $10.7 billion,' he said. The party was prepared to vote down the rise in order to relieve the burden on professional drivers. In his first keynote speech since the delivery of the Budget, the Financial Secretary warned against 'excessive expectations' of the administration. He said to do so would lessen people's belief in their own capacity to achieve. He admitted his measures would bring no immediate revival of the economy. 'While keeping a cold front against all external dangers, within Hong Kong I have sought to increase the sunshine of light taxes and maintain the support of strong investment,' he said. 'It is going to be a hard slog this year, but if we keep our nerve, if we work hard individually, and work hard together as a community, we will pull through'.