今早財政司司長宣讀了他任內第三份，題為「穩固復蘇 發展經濟 關愛社會」的財政預算案， 內容可說是平實無華，可惜缺乏前瞻性及對香港的未來作出投資，有如一家唯有守業，久缺新發展方向和研究開發的企業財務預算。
值得注意的，是資訊科技總監辦公室的預算比往年減少了一成 (去年預算則有18.2%增長)，這減少出現於「僱用服務及專業費用」一項，令人擔憂 對業界的直接負面影響，在這方面我們將與當局跟進。
較 為好的消息，是政府終於回應了各界爭取多年，為有需要學生提供上網費一事終於落實(預留5億元)，但為有中小學生的綜援及合資格領取學生資助家庭提供最多 一千三百元的措施，只限2010學年；長遠政府希望透過非牟利機構提供廉價上網選擇，我們擔心這做法不單經濟成效成疑，也可能引入一種有限制性的「次等」 上網服務，無助甚至助長數碼鴻溝。在這方面我們會聯同業界積極監察。
我們公共專業聯盟提交政府的預算案建議中，包括「理順土地供應，締造有利營商環境」，要求「恢復定期賣地，每季進行一次公開賣地，加上現時的勾地表制 度，形成一個兼具規律性及靈活性的雙軌賣地制度」，但政府只肯把勾地表中數幅市區住宅用地，若不被勾出，會在未來兩年拍賣或招標，及與港鐵及市建局「研 究」增加中小型住宅供應，既不治標也不治本，土地供應及樓價問題持續，令人失望。
面對社會矛盾加深，愈來愈多人質疑香港的經濟發展價值 觀，財政司司長卻把這些重要的反思貶稱為「大幅財富轉移」，結論又是不會改變「行之有效的經濟運作模式」。我們社會在區域快速發展、國際經濟秩序重整的環 境下，還可以浪費多少時間？把些少退稅和寬免差餉轉移市民視線，不為香港未來發展規劃投資，還可以拖多久？
Response to 2010-2011 Financial Budget
The Financial Secretary presented his third Budget speech this morning, with three objectives being recovery, developing our economy, and building a caring society. The Budget may be practical, but it lacks vision and investment for Hong Kong's future. It would be akin to a company that lacks new development direction and does not invest in R&D.
Over the years, we are used to no longer having much expectation for the Government Budget in the way of support for IT. This year, there were no surprise, just restating existing policies, where testing and certification, innovation and technology, and creative industries were mentioned. The confirmation for the third phase development of the Science Park to go ahead ($4.9B) is somewhat expected. Other initiatives like increasing the cap for patent application subsidies from $100K to $150K are minor in face of the lack of broad policy direction.
But it is alarming to note a decrease of 10% in the budget of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (compared to an increase of 18.2% last year) due to a drop in the allocation for outsourcing and professional services. This may lead to direct negative impact to our IT sector, and we will follow up on this matter.
A better news is that Government has finally responded to the demand for providing Internet access fees to needy students ($500M). But the measure to provide those families with students and falling under the CSSA or student subsidy schemes with $1,300 a year will last for only the current school year. In the longer term, Government will look toward a non-profit organization to provide low-cost Internet access service. We concerned about the economic viability of this idea, and do not want to see an introduction of a “second-class” service with access limits, one that will actually deepen not alleviate the digital divide. This is an area We will continue to monitor with our industry.
As a member of the Hospital Authority, We welcome the Government's injecting more resources into public medical services ($1.24B), especially for the areas of drugs and support for patients such as those with cancer. We also expect that IT will play a key role in the improvement of service quality for drug quality assurance.
In the Budget Proposal Submission by the Professional Commons, we hope the Government would rationalize land supply to create a better business environment, by resuming regular land sales on a quarterly basis, alongside with the land application list system to create a stable and flexible dual-track land sales system. But the Government has only promised to allocate a few pieces of urban residential land for tender or auction in the coming two years, if they were not applied for, and discuss with MTR and URA to increase the supply for small and medium sized apartments. This is grossly insufficient and will only exasperate our land price problem.
In face of growing social conflicts and doubts about Hong Kong's value system of economic development, all that the Financial Secretary could say was to demise such thoughts as “large-scale redistribution of wealth,” and quickly conclude that we should stick with our “well-established mode of economic operation.” When we are confronted with rapid regional development and a global new economic order, how much more time can we waste? How much longer can our Government delay planning and investing in Hong Kong's future, simply by using small favors like tax rebates and waiver of government rates to divert citizens' attention?