(June 18): Hong Kong will begin handing out HK$5,000 ($644) spending vouchers to residents from August to help boost consumption in the pandemic-hit economy.
Those eligible will be able to register for the vouchers from July 4 to Aug. 14, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said at a briefing Friday. The vouchers, available through payment systems such as the Octopus transit card, Alipay and WeChat Pay, will be usable to pay for things such as retail shopping and public transport.
The funds will be paid out in three installments starting from as soon as Aug. 1.
The spending vouchers were first announced by Chan in his budget speech in February along with plans to provide loans for the unemployed to stimulate consumption as the city gradually begins recovering from the pandemic. While the economy ended its record recession in the first quarter and joblessness is declining, retail spending remains weak.
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