Financial Secretary Henry Tang said on Saturday theHong Kong
government aims to share wealth with citizens when the fiscal situation allows it.
This will occur after prudent public financial management, and by keeping spending within revenue limits, and Hong Kong's long-term interests.
Speaking on a live television talk show, Tang said there are many voices calling for either a salaries tax cut or increased spending as the economy has recovered, and the government's fiscal position has improved.
Tang pointed out the economic recovery came through the community's hard work, and he appreciated people's desire for tax cuts.
However, he stressed prudence is the key, adding he must consider Hong Kong's long-term interests, employment and fiscal situation when devising the Budget which he will release on February 28.
On requests for a salaries-tax reduction, Tang said the tax covers four elements - personal tax allowance, tax bands, tax rates, and standard rates. He will see if adjustments to individual elements can be made.
Noting the Chinese mainland's economic reform will bring Hong Kong many opportunities, Tang called on Hong Kong people to better understand what the challenges are in a knowledge-based economy.
When asked how to help the poor and disadvantaged, Tang noted government spending on social welfare went up 90 percent in the last decade, while overall spending rose just 30 percent.