Applications for cash handout attract only a handful - RTHK
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Applications for cash handout attract only a handful

2020-06-15 HKT 16:02
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  • Applications for cash handout attract only a handful
The government has started handing out application forms for the HK$10,000 cash handout at designated centres, banks and post offices, but only a handful of people showed up for them on Monday at a Home Affairs Enquiry Centre in Wan Chai.

The government is giving the handouts to all permanent residents in Hong Kong to help them financially and boost the city’s economy as the outbreaks of coronavirus has pushed the SAR into one of its worst ever slumps.

Cheng, a 59-year-old civil servant, who arrived at the centre in Wan Chai in the morning, said he isn't facing any financial difficulty due to the economic downturn, and would simply save the handout.

However, he said he thinks the government should have issued the money earlier as it was announced in February. He also says they shouldn't be giving it all out in one batch, saying people would be more likely to just save it.

"It's a bit late. They should be like the Macau government. They handed out the money about 10 days after the announcement. Now we have to wait for several months. Isn't it a bit late?”

“While this scheme won't help the economy much, I think the government should instead hand out amounts like HK$3,000, HK$5,000 for three consecutive months. This would stimulate the economy. If you hand out HK$10,000 in one go, many people will save it,” said Cheng.

Lee, another retiree who was at the centre, said she's happy with the government's scheme. She said she will use the money to buy some new furniture.

Thea, a Canadian who has lived in Hong Kong for ten years, was also at the centre. She said she would be leaving Hong Kong this year to reunite with her family in Canada, but she said she'd apply for the handout too.

She said she would probably use the money for setting up her new life in Canada, such as paying rent initially.

Thea said she wasn't leaving because of the political situation in Hong Kong, but said some of her friends were very worried that the proposed national security law could curtail people's freedoms in future.

Two elderly women who was at the centre said they didn't even know that they had to apply to get the HK$10,000 handouts.

They said they receive the government's old age allowance every month, and thought this cash would go straight to their bank accounts like their allowance.

They later took a copy of the application form and said they ask their family for more details on how to apply for the scheme.

The government will start accepting the applications from June 21. People can either register through the applications being issued from Monday, or via their e-banking sites.