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Government to spend extra 22 million patacas on low-income subsidies

Social Welfare Bureau would provide an additional one-month subsidy in September or October for low-income households which are already receiving monthly subsidies.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:44 am

Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) President Celeste Vong Yim Mui said on Monday that her bureau would provide an additional one-month subsidy in September or October for low-income households which are already receiving monthly subsidies from her bureau.

According to The Macau Post Daily, the amount of the additional one-month subsidy will be equal to the officially set minimum subsistence rate, according to Vong.

Vong made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the side-lines of the launch of a stamp collection in celebration of the 50th anniversary of her bureau, at the Macau Science Centre in Nape.

The bureau provides monthly subsidies to impoverished households.

The amount of the monthly subsidy that a household can receive is the difference between the officially set minimum subsistence rate and the household’s total monthly income.

Currently, the official minimum subsistence rate for a one-member household is 4,050 patacas per month, in effect since January 2016, while the minimum subsistence rate for a household with at least eight members is 18,870 patacas per month.

Local residents who have been living in Macau for 18 consecutive months and own no other property except their home can apply for the low-income subsidy. In addition, the amount in their bank accounts cannot exceed the officially set amount for those who plan to apply for the low-income subsidies.

The bureau also provides “special” monthly subsidies to three kinds of vulnerable families, namely single-parent families, families with disabled family members and families with a chronically ill member or members.

The three types of a “special” subsidy are a supplementary study grant, supplementary nursing care grant, and supplementary grant for the disabled. The amount of the “special” subsidy depends on the specific circumstances of the beneficiaries.

Speaking to reporters, Vong said her bureau planned to give the beneficiaries the full amount of the additional subsidy – meaning the amount of the minimum subsistence rate, not subtracting their monthly income – in September or October.

Vong said she expected the additional subsidy payments to cost the public coffers about 22 million patacas.

According to the bureau, about 4,000 households are currently receiving low-income monthly subsidies.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:44 am

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