live | Hong Kong budget 2021-22: HK$5,000 vouchers, fewer sweeteners and a five-year deficit, but still an upbeat 5.5 per cent growth forecast
- Gross domestic product forecast to rise between 3.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent, and sweeteners in the form of HK$5,000 coupons to be given to residents and new immigrants.
- Paul Chan's 2021-22 budget delivered on Wednesday amid shrinking economy, record deficit and rising unemployment brought about by health crisis
Hong Kong’s economy is set to bounce back from the devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic to register growth of up to 5.5 per cent in 2021, a boost that will allow the finance chief to dish out coupons worth HK$5,000 (US$645) to each permanent resident.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po delivered an optimistic outlook for the city’s economic recovery during his budget address on Wednesday morning, assuming the successful roll-out of the city’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, which launched this week.
He forecast economic growth of 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent for the calendar year. But the gross domestic product forecast would take the economy back to 2017 levels.
To revive the economy, he has offered HK$5,000 in consumption coupons, to be handed out electronically in instalments, to each Hong Kong permanent resident. The coupons will be subject to restrictions, including the requirement that eligible residents must be living in Hong Kong.
Our live blog below captures the latest announcements.
Reporting by Denise Tsang, Tony Cheung, Jeffie Lam, Joyce Ng, Kanis Leung, Elizabeth Cheung and Ng Kang-chung.