Budget approved, pro-govt side urges quick action - RTHK
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Budget approved, pro-govt side urges quick action

2020-05-14 HKT 18:55
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  • The budget was approved with 42 lawmakers backing it, 23 voting against and one abstaining. Photo: RTHK
    The budget was approved with 42 lawmakers backing it, 23 voting against and one abstaining. Photo: RTHK
The Legislative Council on Thursday passed this year’s budget as members voted down over 50 amendments moved by the opposition and approved the government’s financial blueprint for this year.

The lawmakers ended the budget debate by Thursday evening and it was passed with 42 lawmakers backing it, 23 voting against and one abstaining.

This budget has been layered with sweeteners and various subsidies, including a much-welcomed HK$10,000 cash handout to all permanent residents in the city, and funds to help businesses which are struggling after China-US trade spats, months of social unrest and the Covid-19 outbreak.

DAB leader Starry Lee said the budget can help people get through these difficult times, and urged the government to distribute the cash handout as soon as possible.

Her party colleague Holden Chow criticised the opposition for the amendments they tabled, saying this was just a tactic to delay the budget.

He said he expects the same pattern to happen when the controversial national anthem law resumes its second reading in two weeks' time.

The pro-government side also urged the public to think carefully about who to vote for in September's elections, saying it could be disastrous for Hong Kong if the opposition controlled Legco.

The pro-democracy side had earlier said they are helpless as none of the changes they wanted got the house nod as their rivals hold the majority.

One of their main demands was to delay multi-billion dollar funding for the police, citing what they said was a brutal crackdown against anti-government protests.