‘Little logic’ in forcing Hong Kong’s biggest supermarkets to pass subsidies onto consumers through discounts during coronavirus crisis

Hong Kong’s biggest supermarkets are giving back to the public through discounts but how many struggling families are truly benefitting from this newly-released government’s plan?

ParknShop, part of AS Watson controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, collected HK$162 million in wage subsidies between June and August. Photo: Winson Wong

Supermarkets are one of the few businesses thriving in the pandemic, yet the city’s two largest, ParknShop and Wellcome, each pocketed more than HK$100 million in the first round of wage subsidies.  The government’s plan for them to give back is to ask the two retailers to pass on gains in the form of discounts to shoppers.

We are calling for the government’s new requirement for wage subsidy to be applied to all supermarkets in the city, especially since many local neighbourhoods did not have a ParknShop and Wellcome store.

There are more families on limbo as parents are laid off and need to take care of their kids who are trapped at home.  To make things worse, all of the families we support have to take care of children with special educational needs, in which the pandemic has disrupted their daily routines and put a strain on the parent-child relationship.

To provide emergency relief to these families, we had handed out supermarket cash coupons worth more than HK$300,000 in value to over 200 families during the pandemic.  Read on to find out how we are supporting these families in times of crisis. 

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