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No vouchers for emigrants, those planning to leave

2022-06-13 HKT 17:21
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  • No vouchers for emigrants, those planning to leave
The government said on Monday that people who have permanently left Hong Kong and those who intend to do so won't be eligible for a new batch of HK$5,000 spending vouchers that will be dished out in August.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan said there had been criticism that the money should not go to people who have emigrated.

He said the authorities will consider whether a person has been continuously absent from Hong Kong since June 2019 without a specified reason, as well as any evidence or information that makes the government believe a person has no intention of returning to the SAR in the foreseeable future.

People who have withdrawn their funds from their MPF accounts before 65 years old on the grounds of permanent departure will become ineligible, he added.

The finance chief said more than 300,000 people living in Hong Kong who could one day be eligible to be a permanent resident will get half the money. He described the HK$1.5 billion additional cost of this as affordable.

"The idea of the consumption voucher scheme is to try to stimulate the economic activities. This is an initiative welcomed by the public," he said.

"We do think that given the affordability and the overriding objective, it would be good to include additional beneficiaries so we can share the joy of spending the consumption vouchers together."

The vouchers will be handed out in phases from August 7. Registration will start on Thursday, but people who received the first batch of vouchers in April do not have to register again unless they want to switch to another digital wallet.

Two more electronic payment platforms, PayMe and BoC Pay, have joined the voucher scheme, on top of Octopus, AlipayHK, WeChat Pay and Tap & Go.