There was anger and disbelief from lawmakers on Monday after it was revealed that Hong Kong taxpayers spend at least HK$1.4 million (S$241,628) each year for a team of helpers for former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, and even paid while was in jail.
The matter came to light in a Legislative Council meeting when Acting Director of Administration Bobby Cheng Kam-wing said the expenditures of the Office of Former Chief Executives had increased from HK$5.59 million in 2014-15 to HK$9.11 million in 2017-18.
He said this was partly because in 2014-15, the office only served two former leaders, Tung Chee-hwa and Tsang, but in 2017-18, it also started serving Leung Chun-ying, whose tenure ended in June 2017.
Cheng said each former chief executive had been given a three-person support staff: a senior personal assistant, an assistant clerical officer, and a driver. The team's salaries cost the government between HK$1.4 million and HK$1.6 million each year, Cheng said.