What are they doing all day?

Your tax dollars at work…

Carrie Lam’s private concierge/secretariat expenditure last year came to…

…HK$5.67 million on “rent and related expenses” … while remuneration for staff cost HK$2.86 million and daily operations cost HK$640,000.

Lawmaker Michael Tien suggests buying her a whole floor at the Great Eagle Centre, pointing out that the view is nice.

The government is spending HK$3.75 million a month on maintaining empty pandemic isolation facilities. Officials are apparently preparing the sites for alternative uses, though they clearly have a phobia about using them for housing.

And it spent HK$1.2 billion on last year’s District Council elections, which saw a turnout of just 28% (with only 88 of 470 seats returned by popular vote – and only ‘patriots’ could run.)…

The sum was 91.8 per cent more than the HK$635 million spent on the 2019 election. The government told lawmakers back in March 2019 that only HK$7.5 million had been set aside for a three-stage promotion campaign for that year’s election.

…HK$122 million was attributed to publicity.

The bureau told lawmakers in January that for the publicity drive more than 1.5 million posters and leaflets were printed, about 4,000 adverts were placed on public transport, nearly 99,000 bunting rows were hung up and 359 large billboards were set up.

…In the 2019 poll, 95 per cent of the seats were returned by popular vote. The pro-democracy bloc won 392 out of 452 seats amid the height of the social unrest. The election also saw a record turnout of 71.23 per cent.

No opposition candidate was able to obtain sufficient nominations to run in the 2023 poll.

Nearly 99,000 bunting rows.

The electronic poll registration system, which crashed, cost HK$45 million. The government is budgeting HK$380 million for next year’s Legislative Council elections…

…the Registration and Electoral Office plans to increase their manpower by 16 despite having no election this year.

“The REO plans to create 22 additional civil service posts. With six posts to be abolished this year, the net increase of posts is 16,” Wang said. “These posts are mainly used for carrying out relevant preparatory work for the Election Committee Subsector By-elections and Legco election next year.”

Probably a more interesting workplace than the REO, the Response and Rebuttal Team – which counters ‘misinformation and slanders’ about the NatSec laws – is to become permanent, though the budget is secret. NatSec expenditure is…

…not disclosed to prevent people “guessing” what the government’s national security work entails.

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10 Responses to What are they doing all day?

  1. wmjp says:

    “guessing” what the government’s national security work entails

    That’s easy: wasting time and money locking up people who show any tendency to think.

    Related – I wonder what the extra cost to the prison service is for locking up all the alleged non-patriots.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    How much does the HKCCPSAR government plan to spend to combat Russian or China centric election interference in the upcoming “patriots only” LC so-called election? Surely a tech consultancy owned by the spawn of a heavyweight will get the billions of $$$ contract?

  3. reductio says:

    Response and Rebuttal Team? I bet Alex “I-SOOO-hate-the-West-but-I-live-here-anyways” Lo is getting his CV together as we speak.

  4. MC says:

    I’m not sure the HKSAR taxpayer ought to be investing in HK office property at the moment, as it has been impacted by lingering democracy and seems unlikely to have stabilised by the time Carrie’s lease runs out. However, Regus offers private office space from around HK$2,500 per person per month…

  5. Lo Blow says:

    What?! Alex Lo moving to Asia?! Have you lost your mind completely?!

    How dare you, sir! The very idea! This is an outrage!

  6. Mary Melville says:

    Landlords know our government is a soft touch,
    I stopped for a minute near the HSBC / Cheung Kong Centre zebra at 7pm yesterday evening and checked the towers. Multiple floors of dark windows at CK and Citi developments.
    Certainly nothing to do with concern over energy consumption. This is Honkers where firms boast of their enviro credentials but waste enormous amounts of energy keeping offices lit up like Xmas trees long after employees have gone home. Of course there is no pressure to reduce consumption as the majority of workers are completely indifferent to the impact of their choices. Any individual who voices concern is labelled a crank.
    Todays annoucement of more lay offs at investment banks will generate more empty commercial space and stiff competition on rates. In addition, with a shortfall of 20,000 civil servants why have we not heard reports of the adminstration releasing premises for other uses, like ExCErs suites?

  7. wmjp says:

    I can’t imagine Donald Bowtie makes much official-related use of his exCE office either. Sightings of him seem to be on hen’s-teeth frequency – is he even in HK?

  8. Mjrelje says:

    Daily, DAILY operating costs of HK$640,000 a fucking day?? Is she spending her ill gotten time flicking the bean in Champagne baths? How on earth can you spend that much each day after all salaries, infrastructure, fixed costs etc??

  9. Derek from Accounts says:

    “Daily, DAILY operating costs of HK$640,000 a fucking day??”

    That would be the annual cost of daily operations, not the daily cost.

  10. asiaseen says:

    That would be the annual cost of daily operations, not the daily cost

    It is still over HK$13K a week

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