Government looks to cut spending
Cost-cutting judged essential as Covid-19 and the general economic downturn continue to impact the city’s finances.
Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has announced that the SAR government will continue to cut back public spending next year, given the uncertainty of the city’s economic situation.
Ho said that the budgets for several departments in 2022 will not exceed this year’s. Last year, Ho made a 2021 budget cut because of the impact of Covid-19.
The Chief Executive has issued a directive that if some departments fail to meet the requirement, they should still cut 10 per cent of the recurrent expenditure in 2020 from their budgets in 2022, as cited in a TDM Radio report.
Under new government policy and amid changes in the economic environment, all public departments and organisations must make a prudent evaluation of budget expenditure for next year.
For departments and organisations applying cash accounting policies, the total common expenses of the central budget should not exceed 90 per cent of the 2020 figure, the Macau Daily Times reported.
According to Macao law, non-autonomous departments, departments with administrative autonomy, and autonomous departments are subject to the 10 per cent mandatory reduction.
Non-autonomous departments are departments without revenue, and all expenditures are paid by the SAR government’s common income. They include the office of Chief Executive and the offices of the secretaries, totalling over 45 departments.
In April, the Legislative Assembly (AL) approved the addition of MOP 9.11 billion from the fiscal reserves for the economic support plan as well as MOP 483 million for the budget of the Macao Foundation.
Initially, the AL approved the 2021 budget, which will allocate MOP 26.6 billion from the financial reserve to redress the deficit for public administration.