Hongkongers are set to receive another round of consumption vouchers totalling HK$5,000, Finance Secretary Paul Chan has announced.

All permanent residents – as well as new arrivals to the city – will be eligible, according to Chan, who delivered the 2023 budget at the legislature on Wednesday morning.

consumption vouchers
A sign at a jewellery store stating that consumption vouchers can be used for purchase. File photo: GovHK.

The first instalment of HK$3,000 will be distributed to electronic wallets registered by residents in April. The remainder will be handed out towards the middle of the year.

Last year’s consumption vouchers were given to non-permanent residents for the first time. However, migrant domestic workers were not eligible, a move that rights advocates called “heartless.”

Finance Secretary Paul Chan
Finance Secretary Paul Chan delivers the 2023 budget. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

When asked why the amount to be handed out during the upcoming fiscal year was lower than last year during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Chan said, “HK$5,000 is the best we can do.

Hong Kong was still in the initial stages of post-pandemic recovery, he said, adding that the economy was still “fragile.”

Answering another question in Cantonese, Chan said that he had to balance “reinforcing” the city’s economic revival with consumption vouchers and taking its fiscal burden into account. The government had to “spend appropriately,” he said, as it had suffered a more than HK$100 billion deficit.

The government has provided voucher handouts every year since 2020 in a bid to ease economic woes brought on by Covid-19. In 2020, Hong Kong residents received HK$10,000 in the form of a transfer to their bank accounts. Over the past two years, authorities distributed HK$5,000 and HK$10,000, respectively, to online payment accounts in an effort to encourage spending at local businesses.

Mixed views

Last month, pro-Beijing parties such as the DAB and Federation of Trade Unions called for another round of consumption vouchers to boost the ailing economy, in addition to the Democratic Party. However, Regina Ip of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party said last month that she did not think the city should repeat the scheme as “government resources are limited.”

Last year, the government shrugged off suggestions from the public that the handouts should be delivered in the form of cash rather than consumption vouchers so that residents – particularly those with low incomes – could use them for expenses such as rent and bills.

Additional reporting: Peter Lee

The 2023 Budget in full:

YouTube video
YouTube video
budget summary 2023

Support HKFP  |  Policies & Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps


Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

contribute to hkfp methods
tote bag support
YouTube video

Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit.

Tom founded Hong Kong Free Press in 2015 and is the editor-in-chief. In addition to editing, he is responsible for managing the newsroom and company - including fundraising, recruitment and overseeing HKFP's web presence and ethical guidelines.

He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He previously led an NGO advocating for domestic worker rights, and has contributed to the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Al-Jazeera and others.