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Transcript of SCA's standup briefing

Following is the transcript of the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending the recording session of a TV programme this (July 27) morning (English portion):

Reporter: Mr Lam, the new scheme can cost over about $60 million. Is it too expensive...?

Secretary for Constitutional Affairs: In terms of the overall scheme of things, the additional budget of $50 million to $60 million per annum is not a very significant amount against a backdrop of the $200 billion annual government budget. However, we do recognise that these are public funds. We have to incur this public expenditure very wisely. That is why we are undertaking a public consultation of up to four months, following that we will see if the proposals need to be refined. I believe that we will only be putting our final set of proposals to the Legislative Council for consideration during the first half of next year. We will have an opportunity to thoroughly discuss all these proposals before implementation.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Thursday, July 27, 2006