MOP 8,000 handout registration starts tomorrow
The money is there for the taking, even for new-born babies, but the application process is far from straightforward, and non-resident workers are still shut out.
Registration for the next round of the government’s electronic consumption benefits plan starts tomorrow at 9 am, but residents have until 10 December to sign up online.
Non-resident workers are still excluded from the scheme, Economic and Technological Development Bureau (DSEDT) Director Tai Kin Ip announced, but permanent and non-permanent residents will each receive a MOP 5,000 startup fund and a MOP 3,000 immediate discount grant. The daily limits are MOP 300 for the fund and MOP 100 for the grant.
When signing up residents need to choose how to receive their startup fund – either by topping up last year’s consumption smartcard or through a verified account with one of the eight local e-payment platforms, which have posted their own “add-on” discounts, The Macau Post Daily reported.
Yau Yun Wah, head of DSEDT’s Economic Activities Development Department, said that residents who want to top up their consumption smartcards from last year can also sign up on the website. He noted that those residents will also receive the two texts – one after the signup and another text after two working days. Residents can take their consumption smartcards to over 170 outlets for top-ups.
Residents who did not sign up last year and would like to have their startup fund through a new consumption smartcard will need to sign up on the website and choose a location and date to pick up the consumption smartcard.
Yau said then residents will receive a confirmation text and on the selected date they must take their ID documents to the selected location to get the smartcard. First-timers who want to receive their startup fund on one of the eight e-payment platforms will only need to sign up on the website with a registered and verified e-payment account.
The parents of newborns can sign up for a consumption smartcard when they are applying for the babies’ ID documents at the Identification Services Bureau.
Yau noted that residents will be able to receive or top-up the startup fund starting on 24 May but they can only start spending the money on 1 June. Yau said that residents can spend the money up until 31 December, but any unspent funds would then be transferred to the public coffers.
Yau added that the benefits can be transferred, and the authorisation form can be found on the AMCM website.
Yau said that residents who are spending the startup fund will automatically get 25 per cent off from the immediate discount grant, adding that the daily limit for the fund is MOP 300 per day while the daily limit for the grant is MOP 100 per day. He pointed out that if residents have a balance lower than MOP 10 in their startup fund and would like to spend the remaining immediate discount grant, they can top up their cards or e-wallets with their own money. After topping up the cards with their own money, Yau said, there will no longer be a daily limit on the immediate discount grant.
Yau gave the following example: if a female resident purchases a baby product costing MOP 400, with the 25 per cent off, which would be a MOP 100 discount, the product would cost the buyer MOP 300. He added that in this case the female resident would use the maximum amount of the daily limit of her startup fund, which is MOP 300, to cover the cost of the product, so she would not need to pay for it from her own pocket. Yau stressed that after the purchase, the resident would have MOP 4,700 left of her startup fund and MOP 2,900 left of the discount grant.
Yau also mentioned that for those who get extra credit from other people’s authorisation will have a higher daily limit. Yau said, for example, that if a male resident’s child transfers his or her credit to his e-payment account, his daily fund limit will double to MOP 600 per day and the grant limit will increase to MOP 200 per day. Yau pointed out that one can at most receive eight people’s credits – his or her own credit plus seven other people’s authorised credits— and all must be deposited to the same e-payment account.
Tai added that, however, if the male resident in Yau’s example spends MOP 5,000 of his startup fund and his remaining balance reaches MOP 5,000, the daily fund limit will be reduced back to MOP 300 per day and the daily grant limit will be MOP 100.
In another example, Tai said if the father of a family is in charge of his two children’s credits and his own credit, then he would have MOP 15,000 in his startup fund and MOP 9,000 in his immediate discount grant. Tai added that, in this case, the father’s daily fund limit will be MOP 900 and daily grant limit will be MOP 300. Tai said if the father’s fund balance reaches MOP 10,000 after spending MOP 5,000 of the fund money, his daily fund limit will decrease to MOP 600 per day and daily fund limit will decrease to MOP 200 per day. Tai also said that if the father has a remaining balance of MOP 5,000 in his startup fund, then his daily fund limit will drop to MOP 300 per day and daily grant limit will be MOP 100 per day.
Tai said that residents will be able to use the startup fund and immediate discount grant for online delivery platforms, certain car parks and parking meters, and public transport.
Yau underlined that the benefits cannot be used for certain purposes, such as for casino gambling, or to pay utility, telephone and Macao Cable TV bills, medical bills, nor for bank, insurance and pawnshop payments, and cross-border or outbound-travel fees. Tai also pointed out that the benefits cannot be used either for spending on non-local online shopping platforms.
Yau said that those who have misplaced their consumption smartcards have to report the case to the police and have physical proof of their reported case before they can apply for a new one.
Meanwhile, those who have been using last year’s consumption smartcard as a regular MacauPass card must clear their balance to zero before topping up their card, according to Yau.
However, DSEDT’s senior official Polly Lam Yi told The Macao Post Daily yesterday that for those who have been using last year’s consumption smartcard as a regular Macao Pass can also apply for a new one online.
Tai also said that for families who have more than one card from last year’s electronic consumption benefits plan and are confused about which card belongs to whom, they can check their card number on the AMCM website.
At the end of the press conference, Tai said that his bureau will be collaborating with the Social Welfare Bureau to set up different locations to assist and explain the electronic consumption benefits plan to residents. For more information, residents can call 2856 5071/ 2856 5072/ 6299 8235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. / email@example.com.