The government is handing Hong Kong residents another round of consumption vouchers! Finance secretary Paul Chan announced during the 2023 Budget on February 22 following weeks of speculation.
The two-phase voucher rollout totals HKD 5,000. While the first HKD 3,000 will be available in users’ electronic wallets on April 16, the remaining HKD 2,000 will be available from July 16 onwards. In addition, the government will be using the same registration data and distribution method as the previous scheme.
A new round of consumption vouchers
Only eligible people who have successfully registered under the 2022 scheme will receive the first instalment. They can expect to get SMS notifications or mobile app push notifications on the disbursement day. Existing registrants don’t need to register again. However, Hong Kong residents who recently turned 18 years old must register afresh.
The first instalment voucher is valid until October 31, 2023. However, registrants need to meet the eligibility criteria in order to receive the second-instalment voucher, which is valid until January 31, 2024.
Besides Hong Kong residents, vouchers worth HKD 2,500 will also be available to new arrivals in the city. This includes overseas students as well as those on various admissions schemes for talents, professionals, and entrepreneurs. They will first receive HKD 1,500 and then HKD 1,000. Last year, the vouchers were given to non-permanent residents for the first time.
Since 2020, the Hong Kong government has been giving out certain “relief” packages to ease the economic burden of residents due to COVID-19.
Use the vouchers in restaurants, supermarkets, and public transport
The consumption vouchers are available for use at local retail, catering, and service outlets. This includes supermarkets, restaurants, beauty salons, public transport, and more. It’s also accepted in online platforms that allow payment by Alipay Hong Kong, BoC Pay, Octopus, PayMe, HSBC, Tap & Go, and WeChat Hong Kong. You can find more information on the official website.
Other schemes announced during the 2023 Budget include extending the Public Transport Subsidy Scheme for another six months to alleviate the burden on commuters. The government is also waiving the fee for candidates attending the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams for 2024 entrants.
Meanwhile, tourists can take advantage of the “Hong Kong Goodies” consumption vouchers worth HKD 100. Tourists can use the consumption vouchers at over 1,500 merchants across the city.
This article was originally published on February 22, 2023 and was updated on March 13, 2023.
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