Budget follow-ups halved in wake of pan-dem exodus
Follow-up questions filed by lawmakers after the budget announcement have halved after the pro-democracy camp resigned en masse.
The remaining 42 lawmakers filed 3,249 questions to government bureaus and departments to follow up on the budget - less than half of the 6,804 questions filed last year, finance committee chairman Chan Kin-por said.
He said the authorities had promised to prioritize the first 3,300 questions by providing a response one working day before the budget special meetings start on April 12.
Cheng Chung-tai of Civic Passion topped the list with a total of 250 questions. Priscilla Leung Mei-fun of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong followed with 185. In third place was medical sector legislator Pierre Chan on 159.
Ma Fung-kwok of the sports, performing arts, culture and publication constituency and Wilson Or Chong-shing of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong came in fourth and fifth on 108 and 106.
Off all bureaus, education received the most inquiries - 237 - followed by the Social Welfare Department, the commerce, industry and tourism branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the health branch of the Food and Health Bureau, and the Environmental Protection Department.
Pan-democrats filed the most questions over the past four years, with former Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung asking the most.
This is the first budget to be examined since 15 pro-democracy lawmakers resigned in November after four Civic Party lawmakers were disqualified. Cheng Chung-tai is the only pro-democracy lawmaker remaining in Legco.
The committee is holding 21 sessions of special meetings between April 12 and 16 to examine and approve the budget.