Accountants seek cut in salary tax rates Hong Kong's main accountants' body has recommended cutting salaries tax rates to the financial secretary ahead of the budget. The deputy president of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Jimmy Chung Wai-kwok, said the progressive rates and the standard rate for salaries tax should revert to 2002/03 levels to ease the burden on the middle class. The association also supports a goods and services tax but asked that a well-considered package of exemptions be prepared and for a consultation to be carried out. Lawmakers want action on one-way permits Legislators called for a new category to be set up for grown up children on the mainland with ageing parents in Hong Kong because the quotas of one-way permits for family members have not been filled. The quota for children holding Certificates of Entitlement is being underused by 32 per day, with a daily average of only 28 children arriving in the city last year. Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong told lawmakers the director of immigration had raised the issue with the mainland authorities in 2002 but despite later inquiries they had yet to receive a response. health centre issues flu season warning The Centre for Health Protection called on people to take precautionary measures against respiratory tract infections. The warning came after its surveillance systems indicated that Hong Kong had entered the peak flu season. A spokesman for the centre said influenza outbreaks in five institutions had been confirmed between March 1 and 8. Private doctors also detected an increase in influenza cases, the spokesman said. During the week ending February 26, the consultation rate for influenza-related cases at private clinics was 47.1 per 1,000 consultations, a rise of 33.8 per cent on a week earlier.