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The Financial Express

Hong Kong to give cash gift of $1,200 to residents

Published: February 26, 2020 14:49:07 | Updated: February 28, 2020 11:58:48


A general view of Hong Kong, China, September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh A general view of Hong Kong, China, September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Hong Kong will hand out cash to adult permanent residents, to help boost spending and ease financial burden.

As part of the annual budget, $10,000 Hong Kong dollars ($1,280; £985) was announced for about seven million people over the age of 18.

The territory's economy has been battered by months of violent political unrest, and more recently suffered from the impact of the coronavirus.

The city has had 81 confirmed cases of the virus and two deaths, reports the BBC.

"Hong Kong's economy is facing enormous challenges this year," Financial Secretary Paul Chan said on Wednesday.

"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," Mr Chan said.

The individual handouts are part of a HK$120bn relief package to ease the impact of the protests and virus on the economy.

Authorities will also lower public housing rent and there will be rebates in salary and property taxes.

The budget deficit is projected to rise to nearly $18bn by 2021 - a record for the territory.

Hong Kong had previously announced a relief fund for sectors that have suffered because of the outbreak, including cash handouts for businesses like restaurants and travel operations.

The territory's economy is suffering from months of political unrest which has seen pro-democracy activists in often violent clashes with the police.

In the last weeks, the threat of the coronavirus spilling over from the mainland has slowed down much of public life and dealt a serious blow to the tourism sector.

The financial hub is also reeling from the ongoing US-China trade war, slowing down trade between the world's two largest economies.

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