Pro-democracy lawmakers said on Wednesday that the cash handouts for residents promised in the budget can't come soon enough, but people won't be happy to see the extra HK$5 billion in funding planned for the police force.
Council Front's Claudia Mo said the proposed HK$25.8 billion for the force is to reward officers for being "obedient" during the months of anti-government protests.
"We are disgusted," she said. "Just compare it to RTHK ... it has hardly got any increase in its expenditure and it tells you what sort of favouritism they are playing when it comes to giving out money."
Democratic Party leader Wu Chi-wai also condemned the increase in funding for the police, which will be partly spent on introducing an additional 2,543 posts in the force.
"The financial secretary has not responded to people's concerns, in particular about the brutality of the police force," Wu said.
Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung said the police are the "winners" of this year's budget, while Alvin Yeung warned that the Civic Party would not vote in favour of the financial blueprint unless the police funding is slashed.
"Does the government think the police force is not violent enough already?" he asked.
Yeung also scoffed at Financial Secretary Paul Chan's announcement that the Department of Justice will be given HK$450 million for a project to strengthen Hongkongers’ understanding of the concept of the rule of law.
He said he didn't know how the department could educate people about the concept, when Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng appears unable to grasp it herself.
Last updated: 2020-02-26 HKT 16:46