Macau, China, 17 Nov – Macau’s government’s 2011 budget bill presented Tuesday in the Legislative Assembly provides for receipts of 79.6 billion patacas and expenditures of 57.5 billion patacas, resulting in an expected surplus of 22.1 billion patacas.
Next year’s budget is up 50.7 percent from this year’s budget of 52.8 billion patacas.
During the session in the Legislative Assembly Macau’s Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On announced Tuesday a 5.09 percent raise in public servants’ salaries and a 33.33 percent cut in citizens’ cash handouts for next year.
Chui made the announcements in his 2011 Policy Address before deputies of the Legislative Assembly.
Macau’s 22,600 public servants, about 38 percent of whom are employed by the security secretariat, can expect their first pay hike since 2008.
Chui also announced increases in public servants’ fringe benefits. Public servants account for around seven percent of the local workforce.
Local residents’ unemployment rate amounted to 3.5 percent in the third quarter, when the overall jobless rate – including imported labour – stood at 2.9 percent.
According to the policy address, permanent residents’ so-called wealth-share cash handout will be reduced by one third next year, from 6,000 patacas in the past two years to just 4,000 patacas. The handout for non-residents will be reduced from 3,600 patacas to 2,400 patacas.
In a related move, Chui announced that permanent residents – aged at least 22 this year – will receive 6,000 patacas from the government that will be credited to their Central Saving System accounts.
Chui also announced the continuation of a string of tax reduction; and exemptions, subsidies and allowances launched by his predecessor several years ago.
The basic allowance for person al income tax is to be raised fron 95,000 patacas to 144,000 pataca a year.
According to Chui’s second policy address since assuming office in December last year, the government has decided to set up an Environmental Protection and Energy Conservation Fund, with a start-up capital of 100 million patacas, tp support small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and civic organisations in activities improving the quality of the air and saving energy and water.
The chief executive also said that eco-friendly motorcars would be granted a tax waiver of up to 60,000 patacas.
Chui also said that the government would keep its promise to build 19,000 public housing flats by the end of 2012.
He revealed that the government planned to launch a string of activities to commemorate next year’s 100th anniversary of the republican revolution of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and to promote public awareness of Dr. Sun’s activities in Macau.
Chui also promised to launch a three-year continuing education programme earmarked to cost 500 million patacas that would offer each resident aged at least 15 a course enrolment subsidy of up to 5,000 patacas.
The chief executive also called for the "redefinition" of the local airport’s development objectives and measures to "duly control the scale and speed of growth of the gaming industry, promoting its adequate, orderly and regulated development."
Chui also announced plans to transform the Macau-Zhuhai cross-border industrial park into a "cross-border cooperation park." He did not elaborate on what the park’s transformation was meant to achieve. He also reconfirmed his government’s recently announced plans to set up a financial reserve system.