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May 16, 2023

A large chunk of the government’s latest spending vouchers could go on daily necessities and transports costs, according to people RTHK spoke to on Sunday.

At a restaurant in Mong Kok, some people were having yum cha to celebrate the HK$3,000 that had just landed on their Octopus cards and payment apps.

One diner said she was likely to spend the money on things she usually buys anyway, saying it’s not enough for any big items.

Other people also said it will be daily food and drink as well as trips around the city that will eat up their government money, rather than any special purchases.

“I will just spend it as daily expenses, like transportation. I think the amount is not that big, compared with the daily expenses that I have,” a man surnamed So told RTHK.

In Kowloon Tong, a woman surnamed Tai told RTHK that the HK$3,000 is “better than nothing”.

“The more you give, the better it is, but I think this is more on how much tax you are paying, right? I think, as long as we have some subsidies, we’re kind of happy,” she added.

A woman surnamed Wong, meanwhile, didn’t seem too excited to get her spending voucher.

“Three thousand right now, doesn’t really mean a lot for me,” she said.

“I don’t see the progress and the meaning of this distribution. So rather than distributing this money to every resident, why don’t we spend the money on other things, like giving out subsidies for the poor people.”

A Chinese restaurant operator surnamed So said he expects a three to five percent increase in business at weekends thanks to the spending vouchers, but nothing like the boost brought by the last round of vouchers.

“The effect was shocking when they handed out the vouchers during the pandemic. During that time, business was really poor. When they gave out HK$10,000 last year, it was a shot in the arm. People rushed to spend the money,” So said.

“We are already recovering from the pandemic now. People’s lives have returned to normal.”

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