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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

LegCo to debate Motion on Inland Revenue Ordinance

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The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat: 

The Legislative Council will hold a meeting this Wednesday (May 11) at 11 am in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building. During the meeting, Members will debate a motion on comprehensive review of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

The motion, to be moved by Hon TAM Heung-man, says: "That, as it has been nearly 30 years since the Government conducted a comprehensive review of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (“ IRO” ) in 1976, in order to further strengthen and expand Hong Kong's edge as an ideal place for investment in the international arena, this Council urges the Government to, under the principle of maintaining a simple tax regime with low tax rates:

(a) expeditiously conduct a comprehensive review of the IRO, so as to ensure that it meets the needs of the current economic environment and mode of business;

(b) make the provisions of the IRO more simple and certain, and enhance consistency in its implementation; and

(c) establish a statutory advisory body on taxation for conducting a policy study on the IRO, and ensure that members of the advisory body come from different sectors,with a view to enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness and its attractiveness to international investors."

Hon Patrick LAU Sau-shing and Hon LEE Cheuk-yan will separately move amendments to Hon TAM Heung-man's motion.

Members will also debate a motion on regretting interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The motion, to be proposed by Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung, states: "That this Council regrets that the HKSAR Government has twice requested the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress ("NPCSC") to interpret the provisions of the Basic Law in 1999 and 2005 respectively and requests the NPCSC to withdraw its decisions in the last two interpretation exercises, and demands the SAR Government to apologize to the people of Hong Kong for having done so and undertake not to further request the NPCSC to interpret the Basic Law; furthermore, this Council also urges the NPCSC to rescind its decision made on 26 April 2004 to rule out the election of the Chief Executive and all Members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008 respectively in Hong Kong which throttles the rights of the people of Hong Kong to the full implementation of election by universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008, as well as demands the Chief Secretary for Administration, Hon Donald TSANG Yam-kuen, to rescind the four constitutional development reports, so as to give a true account of the facts."

On bills, the Revenue (Abolition of Estate Duty) Bill 2005; and the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 2005 will be introduced into the Council for First and Second Readings. Second Reading debates on these two bills will be adjourned.

During the meeting, Members will ask the Government 19 questions on various policy areas, five of which require oral replies.

The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the Legislative Council InfoFax Service (Tel: 2869 9568) or the Legislative Council website (http://www.legco.gov.hk).

Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Legislative Council Chamber. They may reserve seats by calling 2869 9399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Ends/Monday, May 9, 2005

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