ParknShop, Wellcome voucher plan under fire

ParknShop, Wellcome voucher plan under fire
The SAR’s two major supermarket chains, ParknShop and Wellcome,said on Tuesday that they’re handing out food vouchers to people in need, after the government called on them to offer discounts if they wanted to receive employment subsidies.

But the plan has already come under fire from a concern group that says they need to do more.

ParknShop said it’s handing out HK$40 million in food vouchers.

It plans to give a HK$200 voucher to low-income families, the elderly and the disabled, with over 200,000 people expected to benefit.

Wellcome says it will hand out HK$80 million worth of cash and meal vouchers, while also freezing the price of 300 daily necessities for six months.

Wellcome customers also have the option of donating their ‘points’ to those in need, and Wellcome says it will match those donations up to a maximum of HK$5 million.

But the Supermarket Price Concern Group says the supermarkets need to do more.

The group’s convenor Frankie Ngan from the DAB, says Parknshop and Wellcome should take 30-percent off all customers’ bills while they receive government subsidies.

He said 1.4 million people in Hong Kong are living in poverty but ParknShop was only offering 200,000 cash vouchers.

“It’s really not enough for all low-income people,” Ngan said, adding that the plan didn’t do anything to help those who were underemployed or facing unemployment.

Critics of the government’s aid to businesses during the pandemic say not enough is reaching those workers who are most in need.

They also say the supermarket business has not been greatly affected during the pandemic, and some have even increased their sales, and have called on them to do more.

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