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6.6m permanent residents, new arrivals to get $10k in cash vouchers

23 February 2022

By The SUN

Secretary Chan says the $10k cash voucher handout will cost $66.4 billion 

All Hong Kong permanent residents and new arrivals aged 18 and above will get HK$10,000 (US$1,280) worth of electronic spending vouchers this year as part of the government’s effort to mitigate the effects of the most severe wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The $66.4 billion handout was disclosed by Financial Secretary Paul Chan in his Budget speech earlier today.

“Fighting the epidemic is our overriding mission at present.  The Government will mobilise all available manpower and resources to contain and stabilise the epidemic,” he said.


Chan also announced other benefits, including tax relief for property renters, rates reduction of up to $5,000 for the year for property owners, electricity subsidy of $1,000 for 2.8 million eligible households, and an extra half-month’s payment for people who receive welfare, old age, disability and working family allowances.

The 6.3 million residents who had signed up for last year’s voucher giveaway will get the first $5,000 worth of vouchers via electronic payment systems in April.

They will get the remaining subsidy in the middle of the year, at the same time as the additional 300,000 people who could be eligible for the handout.


Last year, Hongkongers received similar e-vouchers worth a total of $5,000 in 2-3 installments  through Octopus, AlipayHK, WeChat Pay and Tap & Go.

 “I hope that the scheme will inject impetus to the market when the epidemic is stabilised so as to accelerate economic recovery, and further encourage the public and merchants to use electronic payment which will promote the development of digital economy,” Chan said.

He said the scheme is expected to benefit 6.6 million out of the 7.4 million people living in Hong Kong.

Not included in the scheme are those who are non-permanent residents like foreign domestic workers, other non-contractual workers, students and those on employment or dependant visas not categorized as “new arrivals.”


Chan also brought back other one-off sweeteners introduced in the past to ease the financial burden on residents, including a 100 percent reduction in salaries tax, capped at $10,000 per taxpayer. 

A new initiative is a proposed tax break of up to $100,000 for people who do not own their own property, and are renting a flat. The measure which will result in a tax loss of $3.3 billion to the government, will be submitted to the Legislative Council in the second quarter of the year. 

Other measures include rates reduction of up to $5,000 for the year for property owners; electricity subsidy of $1,000 for 2.8 million eligible households; and an extra half-month payment for people who receive welfare, old age, disability and working family allowances. 

The government will also lower the threshold for the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme from $400 to $200 from May to October this year. 

This will mean commuters getting a rebate equivalent to a third of their actual monthly public transportation expenses, capped at $500 a month. 

Chan said the scheme is expected to benefit about 3.8 million commuters per month. 

Businesses will get the same relief as last year, with profits tax for 2021-2022 amounting to no more than $10,000 being waived in full. Chan said this will benefit 2.1 million people and reduce government revenue by $13.1 billion. 

Other measures include rates concession for non-domestic properties; a waiver of business registration fees; a discount on water and sewage charges, and an extension of rental concessions for some tenants of government properties. 

The government has also earmarked an additional funding of $6.6 billion to create some 30,000 time-bound jobs in the public and private sectors under the Job Creation Scheme to ease unemployment. This supplements the $13.6 billion set aside at the end of 2021 to create some 60,000 such jobs, of which 45,000 were filled.
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