Lawyers want more transparency The Hong Kong Bar Association urged more transparency on the power of the National People's Congress Standing Committee to interpret the Basic Law in a meeting with Basic Law Committee chairman Qiao Xiaoyang in Beijing, the group said yesterday. It quoted Mr Qiao as saying that judicial independence in Hong Kong was guaranteed under the Basic Law. Third favour cash or coupons More than a third of survey respondents want the government to issue cash or shopping coupons in view of the economic downturn, the Civic Party says. The poll, carried out last week, surveyed more than 750 people. Xinhua Finance News to close Xinhua Finance will close its financial news division, with offices on the mainland and in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore affected, because of the financial crisis. It said Xinhua Finance News would shut by the end of the year, but that the closure would not affect earnings at Xinhua Finance because it contributed less than 1 per cent of revenue in the first nine months. SMEs cannot put off paying tax The government will not consider letting small and medium-sized enterprises postpone payments of profit taxes for one year as it 'would have a serious impact on the government's tax revenues', Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung said.