Cash still king for most in poll post budget
Over 80 percent of people feel the government should give cash handouts instead of consumption vouchers, a survey by Democratic Party has found.
The party surveyed 632 people between March 2 and March 14, asking for views on the upcoming round of HK$10,000 electronic consumption vouchers announced in the budget last month, and 82 percent of respondents said they preferred cash to spending vouchers.
The party's spokesman for business and economic policy, Chan Po-ming, said the survey results showed that most people would like to receive cash handouts as they believe cash can help them get through these difficult times during the pandemic.
Chan said cash is more flexible than consumption vouchers since people can allocate their resources as they want to relieve their burdens amid the pandemic.
The survey also asked people whether they were satisfied with the latest budget, to which 48 percent of respondents said they were "dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied." But some 44 percent said they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied."
About 72 percent said the budget did not support industries affected by the pandemic enough. About 23 percent was on the other side on this issue..
Lo Kin-hei, the party's chairman, described people's responses to the budget as "pretty fair," adding that handing out cash can increase people's savings and make them feel more secure. Cash also has, unlike vouchers, no time limit.
He said the government should roll out the second phase of the vouchers in cash and increase the amount from HK$5,000 to HK$10,000, so that the public receives a total of HK$15,000 via the scheme to enhance their livelihood amid the pandemic.
Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, the party's spokesman on health policy, said that the current fifth-wave situation is severe and the consumption vouchers would encourage people to go shopping on the streets, especially when many people such as the elderly do not know how to shop online, which will only contradict the government's intention to have fewer people out and about amid the epidemic.