Residents and businesses could be in line for a third round of financial support measures if something “unexpected” happens, according to Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong.
Lei was replying to questions from lawmakers during a plenary session in the legislature’s hemicycle.
Lei confirmed that the local government will continue to pay close attention to the latest Covid-19 developments and Macao’s socio-economic condition. He added that the government will not rule out implementing new financial support measures that “accurately” benefit those in need.
Lei noted that the government will maintain its regular expenditure on welfare for residents while it is expected to continue running a budget deficit this year. He added that Macao’s civil society would have to consider how to make better use of the government’s financial reserves to help those really in need who are still adversely affected by Covid-19.
Lei underlined that the government t has allocated funds “as a standby” in case further financial support measures become necessary. He reaffirmed that this would only be rolled out “if something unexpected happens”, but added that the government hopes that it would not need to use the “standby” money.
Lei said that Macao is fortunate that a number of tourists visit every day amid the unstable Covid-19 pandemic. Lei also revealed during yesterday’s plenary session that local residents’ unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.8 per cent.
‘Residents’ unemployment rate improves
Lei said local residents’ unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.8 per cent in October-December 2020 compared to the previous two months).
The Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) is due to announce the employment statistics for October-December today.
According to the bureau, Macao’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 of a percentage point to 40 per cent in September-November 2020 compared to August-October 2020).
Macao’s general unemployment rate – which covers residents and non-resident workers – remained unchanged at 2.9 per cent in September-November 2020.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by Government Information Bureau (GCS)