Press Releases

Subsidy Rate of Financial Assistance for Candidates and Election Expense Limits for Legislative Council Elections

    The Chief Executive in Council on May 6 made the Legislative Council Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 5) Order 2008 and the Maximum Amount of Election Expenses (Legislative Council Election) Regulation. The order seeks to increase the specified subsidy rate of financial assistance to candidates of Legislative Council elections from $10 per vote to $11 per vote. The regulation seeks to increase the election expense limits for geographical constituency (GC) and functional constituency (FC) elections by 5%.

    "Financial assistance for election candidates was first introduced in the 2004 Legislative Council Election. We consider it appropriate to increase the specified subsidy rate, currently set at $10 per vote, to $11 per vote in view of the inflation of 9.2% since 2004," a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said today (May 14).

    "Based on the proposal to increase the subsidy rate by 10%, we also propose to increase the election expense limits for Legislative Council elections at the same time, so candidates will have more room within their election expense limits to promote their candidacy. Taken into consideration that the population only increased by 6.9% since the existing election expense limits were set in 1998, we propose a modest increase of the election expense limits for GC elections and for FC elections by 5%."

    The proposed changes are as follows:

GCs                       Existing                  Revised
---                          Expense Limits       Expense Limits
                               --------------        --------------
Hong Kong Island     $2,000,000      $2,100,000
Kowloon East            $1,500,000      $1,575,000
Kowloon West           $1,500,000      $1,575,000
New Territories East  $2,500,000      $2,625,000
New Territories West $2,500,000      $2,625,000

FCs                     Existing               Revised
---                       Expense Limits    Expense Limits
                             --------------       --------------
Heung Yee Kuk,       $100,000       $105,000
Agriculture and
Insurance, and
Transport FCs
(the designated FCs)

Other FCs with        $160,000       $168,000
not more than 5,000
registered electors

Other FCs with        $320,000        $336,000
5,001 to 10,000
registered electors

Other FCs with        $480,000        $504,000
over 10,000
registered electors

    The order and the regulation will be published in the Gazette on Friday (May 16) and tabled in the Legislative Council on May 21 for negative vetting. The new specified subsidy rate and election expense limits will come into operation on July 18 and be applicable to the 2008 Legislative Council election.

Ends/Wednesday, May 14, 2008