Last month, Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced that all Hong Kong residents eligible for permanent residency and new Mainland arrivals to the city will get digital consumption vouchers worth HK$5,000 this year as part of the 2023-2024 budget. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Chan announced that the first installment of HK$3,000 will be disbursed on April 16, 2023, and the second installment of HK$2,000 on July 16, 2023.
Non-Hong Kong residents in the city to study or through different admission programmes will receive vouchers worth HK$2,500. They will get the first payment of HK$1,500 on April 16, and the second payment of HK$1,000 on July 16. As with last year’s scheme, foreign domestic workers and Hongkongers who have emigrated will not receive the vouchers.
Chan added that eligible Hong Kong residents will receive their vouchers on the same payment platform providers that they used for the second phase of the 2022 consumption voucher scheme: e-wallets from AliPayHK, BoC Pay, PayMe, Tap&Go and WeChat Pay HK, and Octopus cards. The vouchers disbursed to e-wallets on April 16 will be valid until October 31, 2023, and those paid on July 16 will be valid until January 31, 2024.
Those who chose to receive their vouchers on Octopus cards will receive the first instalment of HK$3,000 on April 16. The earliest they can receive the second instalment is on July 16, but only if they finish spending the first installment. They can get the remaining HK$2,000 no later than November 16, 2023.
While people cannot change their payment scheme for the first phase of the scheme, they will be able to for the second round in July.
Chan added that he hoped that Hongkongers will spend the vouchers on the various attractions and events being organised for the Happy Hong Kong campaign that will begin next month.
Header image credits: Johnny Grieg via Canva