In Hong Kong this year, local residents will be given electronic coupons for five thousand Hong Kong dollars (47.5 thousand rubles). So the authorities decided to support local consumption and, accordingly, the economy. She was shaken by large-scale protests and the spread of the coronavirus. This is not the first time a government has resorted to such measures.
The vouchers were announced by Treasury Secretary Paul Chan during his budget message to the Legislative Council.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to issue e-vouchers worth HK $ 5,000 to every Hong Kong resident aged 18 and over to stimulate domestic consumption,” the official explained.
Payments to citizens in the form of vouchers will increase consumer spending. This should support restaurants and tourism-related businesses. This area has been hit hardest by the pandemic. In total, the authorities plan to spend about $ 36 billion. The unemployed will also receive payments, and tax cuts have been envisaged for entrepreneurs.
Last year, the Special Administrative Region announced a one-time cash payment to local residents. It amounted to 10 thousand Hong Kong dollars (almost 95 thousand rubles). The amount was received by Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 and over. According to Chan, this is how the authorities stimulated local consumption and supported the economy.
“Given the current special situation, the government should effectively use budgetary reserves to revitalize the market, stimulate the economy and facilitate the early recovery of the consumer market and other economic segments,” the minister said.
Then the authorities also lowered taxes and paid one month of rent for the poor who rented public housing. There were also additional payments to pensioners and disabled people. They even released a special video to explain the government's actions.
Chan noted that the past year has been difficult for the administrative region. He promised that the budget for 2020-2021 was drawn up taking into account assistance to businesses and local residents. In total, they plan to spend 15 billion dollars to help the population. The money will be allocated from a fund specially created earlier due to the deteriorating economic conditions and problems with employment.
The authorities of a number of Chinese cities, including Beijing, have resorted to a similar strategy. In June last year, they decided to issue vouchers to citizens for shopping in stores. 12.2 billion yuan ($ 1.7 billion) was allocated for this. Moreover, it was possible to take advantage of the offer within two weeks after receiving the coupon. Local residents could use the received vouchers both in offline stores and online shopping sites in tourism, education, culture, sports and public catering.