It is still October and the legislative year but a few weeks old, but in Legco yesterday, it felt like March - and budget day - were here already. There was a crackle of anticipation in the building as legislators dashed about the corridors speculating on Mr Tang's policies, an eager press pack in their wake. Mr Tang might be new to the job of financial secretary, but he looked every bit the master of his brief when he rose to deliver his maiden financial policy speech in front of legislators. Wearing his trademark smile, Mr Tang gave a 30-minute address which contained too few surprises to justify the anticipatory buzz. He was only outlining the principles which would guide him in drawing up his maiden budget, he stressed. But the format, the layout and even the cover design of the document bore a remarkable resemblance to the budget dossier his predecessor, Antony Leung Kam-chung, delivered only seven months ago. After his speech, Mr Tang took questions from lawmakers, and elaborated further on his thinking to journalists at a press conference later. He had apparently got over the criticism he and his colleagues received earlier about the organisation of the Harbour Fest concert series, which his government is underwriting to the tune of up to $100 million. Although his speech was broadly welcomed by political parties, some observers said the philosophy of the new finance chief was not that different from that of his predecessor, who introduced a series of tax-raising and cost-cutting measures. 'Both were chosen by the chief executive, and their philosophies cannot be that different, as the guiding financial principles were set by the Basic Law. Whoever takes the job would do similar things,' said James Tien Pei-chun, leader of the Liberal Party.