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Government to request MOP 35 billion from special reserves to fight Covid-19

Finance chief proposes second budget amendment bill this year; payments to employees, freelancers and business operators should start next month.

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Finance chief proposes second budget amendment bill this year; payments to employees, freelancers and business operators should start next month.

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PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

The government is proposing to allocate MOP 35.1 billion from the Macao Special Administrative Region’s (MSAR) special reserves to cover its expenditure on Covid-19 prevention and control measures.

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong said he intends to submit a bill to amend the 2022 budget for the second time this year. 

Lei said the budget amendment bill will be sent to the Legislative Assembly for an urgent procedure for the bill’s debate and vote, and the government expects to start the payments gradually next month, beginning with employees, freelancers and business operators.

The government had already proposed to amend its 2022 budget earlier this month, in which it proposed to allocate MOP 10 billion to help individuals suffering hardship and businesses in dire straits.

Lei noted that due to the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, the government now proposes to optimise the previous MOP 10 billion financial aid scheme, which would expand the eligibility of employees to benefit from the government’s financial aid.

This would allow those whose income in 2020 and 2021 combined did not exceed MOP 600,000, from the previous requirement of no less than MOP 6,000 and no more than MOP 480,000, with no minimum limit to benefit from the scheme. Those who are unemployed but eligible will also be able to benefit from the pecuniary support.

According to Lei, in response to the ongoing pandemic outbreak, the government will allocate MOP 10 billion for Covid-19 prevention and control measures, and also consider benefiting the elderly, housewives and children, pending the views of the community to be heard and announced in due course.

The financial reverses of the MSAR amounted to MOP 613 billion at the end of April, according to the Monetary Authority of Macao, The Macau Post Daily reported. 

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

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