The Government-appointed tax review committee has received about 70 submissions, with some 'strongly critical' of the implementation of a sales tax. But the administration is understood to be prepared to lower existing tax rates to prove that the proposed sales levy is aimed at stabilising revenue rather than increasing it. The Government appointed a panel to look at ways of broadening the tax base after the Asian financial crisis made traditional revenue sources, such as the land premium and stamp duty, more vulnerable. Earlier this month, the committee launched a two-month consultation on 13 new taxes, including a three per cent sales tax, which would net an annual $18 billion in revenue. The chairman of the Advisory Committee on New Broad-based Taxes, Moses Cheng Mo-chi, yesterday admitted proposals such as the controversial sales tax were unpopular. 'We received a few dozen e-mails every week. Some strongly criticised us,' he told a Commercial Radio programme. He stressed that the committee's task was to look at ways to broaden the tax base rather than to help the Government increase tax revenue. Mr Cheng said it was not for the committee to decide if existing taxes would be lowered to tie in with the new measures. A report will be submitted to Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung for consideration in December. A government source said the proposed measures, even if adopted, were unlikely to be incorporated into Mr Leung's first budget in March. The Government is also understood to be prepared to reduce existing tax rates if broad-based taxes are introduced. 'The whole idea is to stabilise the source of revenue rather than to make more money,' the source said. It is understood that it may take more than five years to implement a sales tax. A spokesman said officials had yet to analyse if the submissions were for or against the proposals.