Party pushes for $10,000 helping-hand money

Local | Cindy Wan 10 Dec 2019

The Liberal Party wants HK$10,000 to be given to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 and above in the next budget to help revive the economy.

And if the government is reluctant about handing out cash, party chairman Tommy Cheung Yu-yan said, then it can distribute vouchers to ensure money is spent within the special administrative region.

The handout idea was presented to Financial Secretary Paul Chan Po-mo with 20 other suggestions in a meeting yesterday that was attended by Cheung and other Liberal Party legislators.

Cheung said later that giving HK$10,000 to permanent resident would stimulate spending in Hong Kong, and "we hope the cash voucher proposal can be implemented next year."

He noted too that the party suggested giving out vouchers in 2008, but officials chose to give out cash as the administrative cost for distributing vouchers was too high.

Apart from cash or vouchers, the Liberal Party proposes a one-time subsidy of HK$10,000 for licensed retailers and eateries, cutting rents by 50 percent for businesses in government properties, and holding off on all licensing fees and business registration fees for 12 months.

Other suggestions for Chan were salaries tax refunds capped at HK$50,000, rates refunds up to HK$5,000 and cutting 75 percent of charges for water and sewerage services.

Cheung also pushed the idea of subsidies to offset increased insurance premiums as some premises were hit by vandalism.

And the party wants a "repair fund" to help public transportation services return to normal as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Li Ka Shing Foundation announced that its Crunch Time Instant Relief Fund program was concluding successively.

The foundation gave out HK$9 million more than planned in the HK$1-billion scheme to help more than 28,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises in the food and beverage, retail and travel sectors as well as licensed hawkers.

Final-round applicants are to receive funds either via autopay or cashier's orders before mid-December.

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