Large crowds flock to collect consumption vouchers

The government said it has issued the first HK$2,000 installment of its spending voucher scheme, to about 5.5 million people.

Large crowds were seen at MTR stations across the city on Sunday morning, collecting their money at designated Octopus card readers.

Octopus users can also get their money at convenience stores or through the card’s smartphone application.

They will receive HK$2,000 again from the first of October, and then HK$1,000 several weeks after that.

One of those who collected the money, Raymond, told RTHK that the process was simple and convenient.

“It’s very convenient and I can just get the money instantly. [How do you plan to use the money?] I think mainly on transportation,” he said.

Another man, surnamed Kan, said he believes the spending scheme will give the local economy a much-needed boost.

“I think for Hong Kong’s economy, I think that’s good because it encourages people to purchase and buy something from the market.”

However, others complained about the money being dished out in batches, saying the arrangement limits what they can buy.

“I think [giving it out in one go] is better, because we can buy electronics that have a much higher price. For example, if I want to buy a TV, [right now] I just cannot,” a man named Chris said.

For those who registered with Tap-and-Go, Alipay and Wechat Pay HK, the first instalment will be directly deposited into their accounts.

They will get HK$3,000 two months later.

Speaking on a radio programme, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the distribution process has been smooth so far, adding that he hopes the scheme will benefit not only local residents and businesses, but will also promote the use of digital payment in the city.

The financial chief added that he expects the economy to grow more than the expected 5.5 percent this year, and the government will announce its updated economic forecast later this month.
Last updated: 2021-08-01 HKT 13:08