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Lesson in handouts proves a costly one

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When it comes to the latest handout, the government has tied itself in knots. Finance chief Paul Chan Mo-po has apologised for making people wait for the HK$4,000 handout, which was announced back in March.

The problem is that Chan needed to hire an army of accessors and a whole department after making qualification for the money so complicated for about 2.8 million people.

Administrative cost alone is estimated to hit a whopping HK$310 million, or 2.7 per cent of the HK$11.3 billion total. It’s instructive to compare it with the HK6,000 handout for all permanent residents in 2011, an exercise that administratively cost 0.5 per cent of the total.

How complicated? To qualify, you need to be 18 years or older and do not own........

© South China Morning Post