Executive Council convenor Regina Ip on Monday said she saw no reason to give out spending vouchers this year, as Hong Kong is heading back towards normality.
The New People’s Party chairwoman made the comment as many political groups set out their demands for Financial Secretary Paul Chan’s February 22 budget, with some calling for a fresh round of consumption vouchers.
Speaking to reporters after attending an event, Ip said most Covid measures had already been scrapped and vouchers were not needed to stimulate the local economy.
“There was a limited effect on the economy when the $10,000 spending vouchers were given out again last year. Government resources are limited, so they should invest in the long-term development of Hong Kong instead. But appropriate anti-poverty measures are still needed,” she said.
Electronic spending vouchers were first introduced in 2021, when adults in Hong Kong received $5,000 to spend in local shops, catering businesses, service providers or on their online platforms. Another round of vouchers, worth $10,000, were given out last year to bolster an economy hit hard by the Covid pandemic.
Chan said on Sunday that he was still to decide on whether to hand out more vouchers, saying some parties had supported the idea but others, behind closed doors, had expressed doubts, especially given the government’s financial pressures.
Ip added that her New People’s Party would meet Chan, this week to discuss his budget.