Macao residents looking forward to another round of consumption vouchers had their hopes dashed yesterday when finance secretary Lei Wai Nong told lawmakers that the government had no plans to issue any.
Speaking during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Assembly, Lei said the consumption vouchers, worth 8,000 patacas each, were a temporary measure to alleviate hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He emphasised, however, that disbursements under Macao’s Wealth Partaking Scheme would proceed as normal.
Under the scheme, which began in 2008, permanent residents of Macao have been receiving an annual handout of up to 10,000 patacas and temporary residents as much as 6,000 patacas.
Last week, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said handouts under the Wealth Partaking Scheme would follow their pre-pandemic cadence and be made in July.
The local government is keeping a close eye on expenditure, having run a budget deficit for four consecutive years. Last year, it allocated nearly 36 billion patacas from the extraordinary reserves to plug gaps in this year’s budget.