Elderly people queue up for spending vouchers

A long queue snaked around streets near a government office in Mong Kok on Thursday as hundreds of elderly people flocked to submit additional documents to get the government’s electronic spending vouchers.

The authorities have extended the registration deadline by two weeks to September 15, after many senior citizens complained they missed text messages telling them their applications for the HK$5,000 vouchers had failed due to reasons such as incorrect information and missing documents.

Outside the Pioneer Centre where the voucher scheme’s office is located, a woman surnamed Li, who’s 87, said she travelled from Shau Kei Wan early in the morning and had been waiting in the queue for over an hour.

She told RTHK that she only learned that her application was unsuccessful when she failed to redeem the money on her Octopus card on Wednesday.

“The arrangement is bad. Elderly people can’t stand for too long. We easily feel tired,” she said.

An old man in the queue said people should be allowed to redeem the money as long as they can prove their identity, even if they made mistakes when filling out the application forms.

“Everyone here is over 70 years old. The top officials should come and have a look!” he said.

A woman said she felt she had been fooled around by the government.

“The government should’ve called and told us what we’d done wrong. We’re illiterate. What are we supposed to do?” she asked.