Hong Kong will distribute another round of consumption vouchers – with a value of HK$5,000 – in the coming months, with the first phase to be handed out in mid-April. The government first announced a continuation of the payout scheme during the annual budget address in February.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan gave further details of this year’s handouts at a press conference on Friday, including when the money will be disbursed, who is eligible, and whether recipients can change the digital wallet through which the amount will be wired.
HKFP rounds up what you need to know.
Who is eligible for the handouts?
The arrangements are the same as last year’s scheme. All Hong Kong permanent residents can receive the full payout of HK$5,000. Those who are not permanent residents, but who have come to the city to study or work, will receive HK$2,500, or half of the payout. Domestic workers are exempt from any payout.
When will I receive the first phase of the HK$5,000 handouts?
The handouts will be distributed in two phases, with the amounts being HK$3,000 and $2,000 respectively. Recipients can begin collecting money from the first phase on April 16.
How about the second phase?
You can receive the second phase of the handouts earliest on July 16, provided you have spent the HK$3,000 from the previous phase by June 30. If you have not spent the full amount by that date, you can wait until the 16th of one of the following months, with end-of-December being the last date you have to use all the money.
Through which payment platform will I receive the HK$5,000 consumption voucher?
The government is working with six payment platforms – Octopus, HSBC’s PayMe, Tap & Go, WeChat Pay HK, AlipayHK and BoC Pay – to disburse the HK$5,000 handouts.
Recipients will receive the first phase of the handouts through the platform they elected during last year’s consumption voucher scheme.
Can I change which payment platform I receive my handouts in?
Not for the first phase, but you may do so ahead of the second phase.
What if the account I used to collect my handouts last year is no longer valid?
You may change your account via the government’s consumption voucher scheme website, mail a physical form that can be downloaded online, or visit one of the eight service centres. As you cannot change the payment platform for the first phase, you must use the same one that you received your handouts by last year.
Where are the service points?
The eight service centres are in Wan Chai, North Point, Mong Kok, Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Sha Tin and Tai Po.
When must I update my account details by?
Those who wish, or need, to change their account details can do so starting from Friday to March 29.
What happens if I don’t update my account details in time?
You will still receive the handouts, but you may not get them on April 16.
I have emigrated away of Hong Kong, or have plans to emigrate. Do I qualify for the HK$5,000 handouts?
Just like last year, people who have left the city for good, or plan to, will not receive the handouts. The government said it would consider factors such as whether they have withdrawn the money from their Mandatory Provident Fund pension accounts to decide their eligibility.
I just arrived in Hong Kong. Am I eligible for the vouchers as a non-permanent resident?
Government officials did not answer a question from a reporter about by what date people need to have arrived in Hong Kong to qualify for the consumption vouchers. Howard Cheng said that the Immigration Department’s figures showed that around 100,000 would be eligible for receiving the half value.
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