Hong Kong gives £1,000 to every adult resident – around seven million people – to boost its economy 

Hong Kong will give £1,000 to every adult resident – around seven million people – to boost its economy

  • Financial secretary Paul Chan announced the plan in the government’s budget
  • The economy has suffered amid pro-democracy protests and coronavirus fears
  • Chan announced the budget as democracy campaigners protested outside   

Hong Kong residents are being given nearly £1,000 each in a bid to boost the economy amid political unrest and fears over the coronavirus.

Financial secretary Paul Chan announced that every adult aged over 18 – around seven million people – would receive payments of 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (£985).

The cash payments, which will cost close to £7billion, were among several emergency measures to boost the recession-hit economy announced by Chan today at the Legislative Council as pro-democracy protesters gathered outside.

The economy in the former British colony has suffered in the wake of months of violent protests and the closure of public facilities to halt the spread of coronavirus which has already infected 81 people and killed two.

Financial secretary Paul Chan announced that every adult aged over 18 – around seven million people – would receive payments of 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (£985)

Chan made the announcement as pro-democracy campaigners staged a protest outside

Chan made the announcement as pro-democracy campaigners staged a protest outside

A screen displays Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivering the budget at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong

A screen displays Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivering the budget at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong

Chan said: ‘Hong Kong’s economy is facing enormous challenges this year.

‘After careful consideration, I have decided to disburse HK$10,000 to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above, with a view to encouraging and boosting local consumption on the one hand, and relieving people’s financial burden on the other.’

Chan also pledged a further $120billion Hong Kong dollars (£1.1bn) to double the monthly allowance of low income families, lower public housing rent, cut corporate taxes, and boost funding for the trade development council, the arts, the tourism board and for public hospitals.

The budget deficit is projected to rise to nearly £13.8bn by 2021 – a record for the territory.

‘I believe that only with such a budget can we help our community and local enterprises ride out their difficulties,’ Chan added.

Hong Kong has already launched a relief fund, which includes cash handouts, for businesses and sectors impacted by Covid-19.

Measures to stop coronavirus spreading include the closure of restaurants and public facilities such as libraries, museums and sports centres until further notice, while tourism between China and Hong Kong has also suffered due to travel restrictions.

The arrival of Covid-19 follows months of violent clashes between pro-democracy activists and the police, with the city repeatedly brought to a halt amid the unrest.

Members from the League of Social Democrats protest outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong before Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced plans to give £1,000 to every citizen

Members from the League of Social Democrats protest outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong before Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced plans to give £1,000 to every citizen

Financial secretary Paul Chan announced that every adult aged over 18 - around seven million people - would receive payments of 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (£985)

Financial secretary Paul Chan announced that every adult aged over 18 – around seven million people – would receive payments of 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (£985)

Public discontent over growing influence from Beijing has fuelled the protests, which were sparked by a now withdrawn proposal to allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to stand trial in mainland Chinese courts.

Hong Kong’s economy is highly dependent on trade and tourism with China, where the coronavirus first surfaced earlier this year.

The former British colony is a semi-autonomous region of China that enjoys unique civic liberties and has its own economic and legal systems.

Many young Hong Kong residents also have expressed frustration with a lack of job opportunities in the region, a financial centre with an economy dominated by wealthy property tycoons.    



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