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FS explains voucher, duty proposal

Financial Secretary Paul Chan today responded to questions concerning his 2021-22 Budget speech, such as the proposed consumption voucher scheme and increase in the stamp duty on stock transfers.   During a radio show this morning, the finance chief was asked if the Government would offer the public another option to receive cash instead.   Mr Chan stressed that the Government put forward the electronic voucher option after considering public views.   "On the consumption voucher (scheme), the idea is to try to encourage those spending in domestic shops within a short period of time. Over the past two days, we have been listening to views from members of the public.   "The policy consideration, in fact, this year is to try to use this money to help revive domestic consumption and the economy. That's why we chose to use consumption vouchers instead.   "Please do acknowledge that the scope of spending is very wide. People can use it to go to markets, to go to

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European resolution biased

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly objected to the European Parliament's resolution yesterday relating to Hong Kong, saying the resolution is biased, politically motivated and does not reflect the truth.   In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that contrary to politically-motivated rhetoric that the National Security Law undermines the "one country, two systems" framework, the National Security Law fully and faithfully implements the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy.   It added that the National Security Law is in no violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which stipulated the resumption of the exercise of sovereignty by China over Hong Kong and relevant arrangements during the transition period.   The statement pointed out that the basic policies regarding Hong Kong declared by China in the Joint Declaration were China's statement of policies, not commitment to the United Kingdom or an international obligation as some claim.   With the resumption of the exercise of sovereignty by China over Hong Kong and the completion of follow-up matters, all UK-related provisions have been fulfilled.   The international community should fully acknowledge this fact and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are internal affairs of China.   The statement noted that the Hong Kong SAR Government is appalled by the call contained in the resolution that suspects arrested by law enforcement agencies in the Hong Kong SAR, some already convicted by independent courts, should be immediately released, apparently suggesting that people with certain political beliefs should be immune to legal sanctions.   The Hong Kong SAR Government emphasised that the rule of law in Hong Kong has a strong basis and nobody is above the law.   Anybody who contravenes the law will have to face justice, regardless of who or where they are as long as the offence falls within Hong Kong's jurisdiction.   It reiterated that the Hong Kong SAR Government will not tolerate any offence of subversion. Those who organised, planned, committed or participated in subversion would be pursued for their criminal act in accordance with the National Security Law.   The statement also said that the Hong Kong SAR Government officers are discharging an honourable duty to prevent, stop and punish in accordance with the law acts and activities endangering national security.   Hong Kong officials' determination in safeguarding national security will not be affected in any way by any so-called sanctions.  
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