Hongkongers who became eligible this year to receive their consumption vouchers will get their last payments for 2023 on October 16. Hong Kong permanent residents will be paid HK$2,000, while Hong Kong residents will receive HK1,000. Read on to find out more about this final payment of the year.
Who is getting consumption vouchers on October 16?
Under this year’s Consumption Voucher Scheme, newly eligible registrants are Hongkongers who — as of May 29, 2023 — are at least 18 years old, are permanent residents or residents and their dependents, and who have not left the city for good. They needed to register for the scheme by June 27 this year to receive their first payments of HK$3,000 and HK$1,500, depending on their resident status, on July 16.
However, newly eligible registrants are disqualified from the scheme if they applied to withdraw their mandatory provident fund citing ‘permanent departure’ or if they have been out of the city for a continuous period of at least 36 months.
Hongkongers — both permanent and non-permanent residents — who already registered for the first and second phases of the 2022 edition of the scheme received their two-instalment payments on April 16 and July 16 this year, and will not get any consumption vouchers this month.
How will the vouchers be paid?
New registrants had to choose between getting their vouchers on their Octopus cards or on one of five e-wallet platforms: AliPayHK, BoC Pay, PayMe, Tap&Go and WeChat Pay HK. The vouchers are paid directly into the digital wallets, and will be valid until February 29, 2024.
Those who chose to get their payments on their Octopus cards need to tap their cards at transport subsidy collection points, convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, Circle K and Wellcome, Octopus service points, or their Octopus app to collect them. However, they will get their vouchers only if they have finished spending their first instalment by October 16. If not, they can get the remaining HK$2,000 no later than February 16, 2024, and must collect it by June 30, 2024.
Where can the vouchers be used?
The vouchers can be used at any retail, food and beverage, and service outlet in the city that accepts payments via Octopus or any of the six e-wallets mentioned earlier. They can be used for spending at retail shops, market stalls, department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, fast food shops, coffee shops, recreational facilities, beauty salons, and on public transport.
The vouchers cannot be used to pay utility bills, taxes, education expenses, or to make donations, among other restrictions.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced that Hongkongers would receive consumption vouchers when he revealed the 2023-2024 budget in February this year. At the time, the scheme was only open to permanent and non-permanent residents of the territory who had registered for the 2022 scheme.
Permanent residents received a total of HK$5,000 in two instalments: HK$3,000 on April 16, and HK$2,000 on July 16. Non-permanent residents — who were entitled to a total consumption voucher payment of HK$2,500 — got HK$1,500 and HK$1,000 on these days. However, in May, Chan said that Hongkongers who had qualified for the scheme on May 29 could also register to receive the same amounts as existing registrants, but later in the year.
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