Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Frederick Ma says more than 1,000 submissions have been received for the tax-reform consultaton, adding the proposed sales tax is the best option to maintain Hong Kong's competitiveness and broaden its tax base.

He told the press today the proposal has the backing of the entire administration. Noting the consultation, launched in mid-July, will end in March, Mr Ma said it was too early to say whether the public are against the proposed sales tax.

But of course it is our duty to explain to the community why we are making such a proposal and hopefully we can convince our citizens that this is a solution for reforming Hong Kong's tax system in the future. So we are continuing our effort to convince citizens that this is needed to reform our tax, Mr Ma said.

When asked whether it is possible to widen the tax band, Mr Ma said all options had been scrutinised before determining that a goods and services tax was the best option.