New People’s Party Chairwoman and lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Shuk-yee slammed Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah’s budget speech for lacking originality. She also said that it was a clever PR move but did not propose any concrete plans to solve society’s problems.

Ip, who like Tsang had been tipped to run for chief executive in 2017, said that becoming Hong Kong’s leader involves more than just saying things people want to hear. “If [he] cared about the young people of Hong Kong, he should look at whether the starting pay of university graduates has increased at all after his [nine] year term serving as the Financial Secretary.”

Regina Ip was critical of Tsang’s budget.

“Our average individual and family income has not increased much since 1997… and there’s very little upward mobility,” she said, adding the problems would not go away by just talking about them.

See also: LIVE: The 2016 Hong Kong Budget

Ip also dodged questions on whether she supported the idea of Tsang being chief executive or whether she fekt discouraged from running, Apple Daily reported. “Let’s not discuss this today – let’s talk about the budget,” she said.

John Tsang delivers the 2016 budget. Photo: GovHK.

Ip criticised Tsang for having poor vision when it came to macroeconomics, although she praised him for saving a lot of money for Hong Kong people. She said that while the budget speech and the policy address were different in nature, from a PR perspective Tsang certainly “scored points”.

However, Ip also said she was disappointed that he did not come up with solutions to “mend the wounds of society”, and that – in general – most of the policies tend to lean towards serving the middle class.

Isn’t that right?

When deputy chairman of New People’s Party Michael Tien said that Tsang mentioned using Facebook to communicate with the younger generation in his closing remarks, Ip said: “I’ve had a Facebook account for seven to eight years now and my page has about 60,000 followers, isn’t that right? Next month, I’m bringing 150 university students to Quanzhou, isn’t that right? I don’t think opening a Facebook account means anything, all politicians should care about the young people.”

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.