Power subsidies to be credited to accounts in instalments
Electricity subsidies announced in the budget will be credited to households' power accounts in three or six instalments, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said yesterday.
The government would map out the details with the two power companies.
Lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuet-mee questioned if the HK$1,800 electricity subsidy would raise environmental concerns. Mr Tsang said the initiative would encourage people to save energy.
'Any unspent amount can be carried forward, so it will encourage them to use less power, thus the money can be used over a longer period,' he said.
He did not impose any eligibility criteria because those would drive up administrative costs.
Democratic Party vice-chairman Sin Chung-kai said he appreciated the move. He told Mr Tsang that 'you are excellent as you can think of granting an electricity subsidy which even covers the grass roots' that could not benefit from rates and tax rebates, as well as the increase in the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance.