HK government to announce details of second round of consumption vouchers today, with HK$2,000 balance to be distributed on 16th July

The Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan (centre), holds a press conference to announce details of the 2023 Consumption Voucher Scheme with the Acting Government Chief Information Officer, Mr Tony Wong (left), and the Head (Policy Co-ordination) of the Financial Secretary's Private Office, Mr Howard Lee (right), at the Central Government Offices, Tamar on 10th March this year.

29th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong government announced earlier this year that it would distribute electronic consumption vouchers of up to HK$5,000 in two stages to eligible citizens. The first stage of HK$3,000 was distributed on 16th April, and the government will announce details of the remaining HK$2,000 on 29th May. The second stage of HK$2,000 is scheduled to be distributed on 16th July.

Octopus card users must use up the first stage of consumption vouchers before receiving the remaining balance, which means that they must use the first round of HK$3,000 by the end of June to receive the second round in July.

The government estimates that about 100,000 people are eligible to receive the vouchers, with a total cost of nearly HK$250 million. The government has stated that immigrants and those who have permanently left Hong Kong are not eligible for the vouchers. The government will review whether citizens are eligible for the vouchers based on whether they have been absent from Hong Kong for three consecutive years, whether they have withdrawn their Mandatory Provident Fund due to permanent departure, or whether their Hong Kong identity card was issued in Hong Kong.

The consumption vouchers are intended to stimulate the local economy and provide relief to citizens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the distribution of the vouchers has also been criticised for being too complicated and exclusionary, with some arguing that the eligibility criteria are too restrictive and that the vouchers should be distributed more widely.