No matter how critics view the Budget in terms of saving or harming the economy, the financial secretary's proposal to raise salaries and profits taxes by 1 and 1.5 percentage points respectively, constitutes the first major tax increase in almost 20 years. Mr Leung, the second non-civil servant to hold the post, is the first chief to impose such a large tax rise since his predecessor in the colonial government, Sir John Bremridge, who held the office from 1982-87. In 1984, during the global financial turmoil and political uncertainties of the early 1980s, the Treasury faced a deficit of $3.3 billion. Sir John, who had been a businessman before taking office, raised the salaries and profits tax by two percentage points, from 15 to 17 per cent and 16.5 to 18.5 per cent respectively. The controversial rise in 1984 was accompanied by increases in betting duties and a tax on alcohol. The personal tax allowance was raised the following year, and the salaries tax was later lowered. In 1998, the government cut the profits tax rate to 16 per cent from 16.5 per cent. The salaries tax remained at 15 per cent, but allowances were raised.