The Mass Transit Railway Corporation's latest assessment - submitted yesterday – says that commissioning of the rail link must be delayed further, from the end of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018, while the cost estimate must be revised to HK$85.3bn (£7bn).
Secretary for transport and housing Prof Anthony Cheung noted that the latest cost is 31.23% more than the original HK$65bn and 19.3% more than the revised cost of HK$71.5bn announced last August.
He added that the government has serious concern about the project's drastic deviations from the original schedule and funding, adding that it will examine the corporation's performance as project manager and look into its responsibility for the delay and cost overrun.
Cheung stressed that the government would not accept the continuous cost overrun and that a way must be found to cap the project's final entrustment fee.
The MTRC's chief executive officer and projects director will attend a Legislative Council on 3 July to explain the latest assessment in detail.